After filing a case against AGB-Nielsen Philippines over the alleged manipulation of television surveys, ABS-CBN now seems to train its eyes on its rival GMA-7 as behind the supposed rigging. Despite a statement from ABS-CBN officials that the case was only directed at AGB-Nielsen, it was an ABS-CBN radio reporter who tagged GMA-7, citing a statement from Maya Reforma, AGB Nielsen Philippines general manager in an exclusive interview, wherein she was quoted as saying that GMA-7 was behind activities that could have exposed panel homes to influence. GMA-7 issued a statement saying the ABS-CBN dzMM radio report was "erroneous" and added Reforma, who it said issued a court affidavit belying the claim, had not directly named GMA-7 as behind the alleged manipulation of the TV ratings. ABS-CBN stood by its reporter's story. GMA-7, meanwhile, will file a libel suit against ABS-CBN over the report. The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has released a temporary restraining order to prevent AGB-Nielsen from releasing or reporting television ratings from Bacolod City, the area where the alleged manipulation took place as revealed by an ABS-CBN informant. AGB Nielsen sets up "peoplemeter" devices on all television sets within the panel homes to measure viewing activity that result in overnight ratings of shows being watched in a particular day. These panel homes or families are selected through statistical design to represent the general televiewing population. The ABS-CBN informant alleged that GMA-7 had exerted aggressive if not questionable promotional efforts to the point of "bribing" panel families with cash and groceries in the 89-panel-rich Bacolod City to only watch their shows, thereby skewing television audience measurement (TAM) data extracted from the peoplemeters to its favor. GMA-7 denied this accusation saying it was directing its "legitimate" promotional efforts to the "general population" of a certain locality and not to the select panel families. AGB Nielsen announced it had informed ABS-CBN that it was conducting exhaustive investigation on the promotional activities of GMA-7 and if these could have affected their TAM data. ABS-CBN said it exposed the irregularity, based on the testimony of the unnamed informant, and asked AGB Nielsen to act on it. The network said the media research group had initially ignored their call, which led to the P63-M suit. GMA-7 on the other hand said the 89-panel-home Bacolod figure that the ABS-CBN informant revealed was "too high," since, it said, AGB Nielsen could only accommodate "400" panel homes for the Visayas region in its TAM system. In addition, the network claimed that if the informant's claims of bribery were true, then GMA-7 would have registered excessively high ratings for Bacolod. It reported no significant change in their ratings for the suspect locality.
December 2007 Archives
"Pinagtatawanan na kami ng mga pirata," Sen. Bong Revilla said in interviews over showbiz talk shows. Revilla was referring to his spat with Optical Media Board (OMB) chief and fellow actor-TV host Edu Manzano. Throughout the week, the two engaged in a public verbal tussle on a botched operation against suspected pirates. "Matapang siya, matapang din ako. Kung tuloy-tuloy lang kami dito, walang mangayayari. Kaya, tama na ang bangayan," Revilla stressed. The word war started when Revilla had "observed" an OMB raid on stores suspected of selling pirated movie and music discs and computer software in the Makati Cinema Square mall on Tuesday. When they reached the stores, none of the pirated materials were found on the shelves. Because of this botched raid, Revilla chastised Manzano, whom he charged to have "backed out at the last minute." In the end, Revilla had answered a reporter's question on how he would assess Manzano's performance as OMB chair. He said, "below average." This angered Manzano, who charged that it was Revilla who "interrupted" their operations aside from not coordinating with his office when he joined the raiding team in Makati. He also claimed the raid was over when Revilla arrived at Makati Cinema Square. Revilla and Manzano were also at odds over a planned operation in Quiapo, Manila, which the senator had pushed to catch the "big fish" in piracy in the metropolis. Manzano did not agree to the operation saying the OMB had only 50 men to carry that out and would endanger their lives. Revilla had wondered why Manzano would not pursue the operation in Quiapo because he could easily call hundreds of armed soldiers. But Manzano said they had no arrest warrants. Revilla is chair of Senate oversight committee on the OMB and said it was his duty to monitor the bureau's activities. "Was he embarrassed about the outcome of the operation that’s why he is reacting? I just said I was not satisfied,” Revilla stressed. Manzano was particularly hurt over Revilla's "below-average" remark. "What was his basis for determining how effective our agency is? Does he have a bar of excellence?," Manzano also said in a television interview. He added Revilla himself could not muster any "mind-boggling" credentials for the government's anti-piracy efforts. “We are just doing our job. We are commended all over the world, except in our own country,” Manzano said. Revilla was Manzano's predecessor in the OMB, which was previously known as the Video Regulatory Board (VRB). It would seem that any chance for making both parties settle their differences seem remote after Manzano had mentioned he "could not forgive" Revilla for what he said. "How could he say that? Buhay ng tao ang nakataya dito." "...not only have you hurt me, you hurt my family. How can I forgive you? I have children, and they have classmates. Hindi porke't sorry, e, okay na," Manzano added. Revilla on the other hand said his remarks weren't an insult to his family. It was only directed, he said, at doing his job better and more effectively. Revilla also brought up the possibility of the existence of a "mole" inside the OMB ranks, who receive huge amounts of money in exchange for information on OMB raids, that could have squealed on the raiding team that led to the botched operation. This Manzano flatly denied. "He has called me a liar. (Now) he makes insinuations that I'm accepting money (from pirates)." The latest tirade concerns Bong's use of several bodyguards which Edu said was unnecessary for him because he only carries what his father had passed on to him: principles. Bong responded by saying he has bodyguards because of threats to his life as a result of his past battles against drug lords, pirates, politicians. "Baka wala siyang kaaway," Bong said.