Sky Direct

Sky Direct
Type Direct-broadcast satellite television
Country Philippines
Availability Nationwide
Slogan "Ang paboritong cable ng bayan, nationwide na!" ("The country's favorite cable, it's now nationwide!")
Headquarters ELJ Communications Center, Mother Ignacia Street, Diliman, Quezon City
Owner Sky Cable Corporation
Launch date
March 18, 2016 (soft launching)
May 2016 (nationwide roll-out)
Picture format
Official website

Sky Direct (stylized as SKY direct) is a direct-broadcast satellite television service in the Philippines owned and operated by Sky Cable Corporation, a subsidiary of ABS-CBN. Sky Cable has been eyeing for a DBS service for a long time and considered on acquiring Dream Satellite TV from Antonio Cojuangco. The acquisition of Dream was reported to have reached an advance stage but for some undisclosed reasons, the deal was not sealed. Sky's entry to the DBS market was hindered by various oppositions from the industry, citing legal issues and the slow growth of the pay TV market in the country. On December 23, 2015, Sky was granted by the NTC a provisional authority to operate and maintain a DBS service in 251 cities and municipalities in the country for a period of 18 months. At present, Sky Direct offers prepaid and postpaid plans with exclusive channels from ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Cable Channels such as ABS-CBN HD, ABS-CBN News Channel, and ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD. As of October 2016, Sky Direct has gained over 70,000 subscribers.[1]


In May 2015, Sky Cable Corporation applied with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for the roll-out of its DBS service with plans of spending at least 252 million pesos for the purchase of equipment (₱122 million) and working capital (₱130 million).[2] On December 23, 2015, Sky Cable was granted a provisional authority by the NTC to operate and maintain a DBS service in 251 cities and municipalities for 18 months.[3] Sky Cable plans to get 49,500 subscribers in the first year of operations and increase it to 864,600 subscribers in 10 years.[3] NTC approved the application of Sky Cable to offer DBS services despite opposition from 14 companies from the cable and television industry.[4]

In January 2016, Sky Direct began the trial period for its prepaid service in three (3) areas through authorized dealers in Metro Manila, province of Cavite and Quezon.

Sky Direct had a soft launching on March 18, 2016 by releasing the television commercial advertisement with endorser Kris Aquino.

The Sky Direct prepaid subscription package includes a satellite dish antenna, set top box (Integrated Receiver-Decoder) and remote control. Sky Direct uses the DVB-S2 digital television broadcast standard in the Ku band to provide standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) TV broadcasts. For the conditional access, it uses the Verimatrix encryption system to scramble the data and protect its content from signal piracy.

On May 24, 2016, Luxembourg-based satellite owner SES announced a multi-year, multi-transponder capacity agreement with Sky Cable, Sky Direct's parent, to broadcast DTH television channels via the SES-9 and New Skies NSS-11 satellites at 108.2 degrees East. SES-9 is expected to be operational middle of 2016.[5]

Sky Direct broadcast

Last December 2015, Sky Direct began its test broadcast using SES NSS-11 satellite.

Satellite Band Position Frequency Polarity SR Encryption System Status Coverage
SES-9 Ku Band 108.2° East 12531 & 12571 MHz Vertical (V) 30000 Verimatrix DVB-S2 MPEG-4 Commercial broadcast Philippines


The Sky Direct service will directly compete with Cignal TV, the leading DTH provider with one million subscribers [6] owned by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Dream Satellite TV owned by Philippine Multi-media System Inc. (PMSI) and GSat owned by Global Broadcasting and Multi-Media Inc.


The entry of Sky Cable in the DTH service is being opposed by various groups citing violation of the anti-monopoly law.[3] Oppositors include Cignal TV and sister company TV5 Network, Inc under the PLDT group, Dream Satellite and the Philippine Cable Television Association. In a filing with the NTC, PMSI said the DTH players in the Philippines are expected to continue incur losses[7] due to tougher competition with the entry of Sky Cable in the DTH business. From 2009 to 2013, Cignal TV incurred an accumulated deficit of 5 billion pesos, Dream with 1.1 billion pesos and GSat with 173 million pesos.

On February 2016, TV5 Network, Inc formally filed a motion for reconsideration with the NTC asking the regulator to dismiss Sky Cable's application to offer DBS and reverse its order last December 2015 that allows Sky Cable to offer both wired and wireless cable network services nationwide.[4] TV5 argued that DBS or wireless cable service is beyond the scope of Sky Cable’s franchise and articles of incorporation. According to TV5, Sky Cable's amended articles of incorporation states that it can establish and operate a Community Antennae Television (CATV) System which is wired in nature and not a wireless service like DBS.

The regulator emphasized in its December 2015 order that DBS service is within the scope of Sky Cable's congressional franchise.[4]


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