Ratings firm AGB Nielsen asked a Quezon City court on Friday to stop ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. from airing certain television promotions connected to the alleged ratings manipulation.
Radio dzMM reported that the ratings firm filed a motion for protecting order before the sala of Judge Charito Gonzales of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 80 on Friday morning.
This after the network started airing television spots and pluggings asking viewers in panel homes being surveyed by AGB-Nielsen to come out in the open and prove that they had been bribed into watching certain programs to manipulate ratings results.
“We’re asking the court to stop ABS-CBN from requesting our panel home members to come out,” AGB’s legal counsel Francisco Rivera said in a radio interview.
Rivera also said that since the controversy broke out, they have already excluded “exposed” panel homes from their surveys.
ABS-CBN legal counsels were given five days to submit a formal comment on AGB Nielsen’s petition.
As for their own investigation into ABS-CBN’s allegation, Rivera said they are set to release their findings by next week.
GMA Network, which is being alleged as behind the supposed rigging, had already lodged a P15-million civil action libel suit against ABS-CBN, saying that the latter’s accusations were false and malicious.
GMA has repeatedly denied concocting the alleged ratings manipulation, adding it spends millions of pesos in carrying out legitimate regional promotions in the country and had never resorted into bribery.
Included in the charge sheet were 15 people working for ABS-CBN including several of the network’s production heads, executive producers, writers, reporters, and anchors.
To recall, ABS-CBN previously claimed that an unidentified informant, who was reportedly a former employee of GMA Network, said that people from GMA allegedly tracked down AGB’s panel homes and gave out to residents P500 and grocery items in exchange for watching the network’s programs.
GMA Network, for its part, denied that the informant previously worked for the company, adding that ABS-CBN’s informant had failed to show any identification card that would establish the source’s connection with the company.