GMA-7 has just released the following official statement in reaction to ABS-CBN's civil case against AGB Nielsen Philippines, where it was mentioned by an informant that a certain "network" is behind the tampering of metered households in Bacolod:
"The alleged informant of ABS-CBN must be referring to a station other than GMA Network in the case it filed against AGB Nielsen.
"It does not make sense that the informant who claimed he was hired to locate and bribe metered households should do so in Bacolod, considering that no separate ratings data for Bacolod are being released by AGB yet.
"The informant also claimed that they were able to locate 89 meter devices in Bacolod—which is highly doubtful—because there could not be that many meter devices deployed in that area if we consider AGB's breakdown of panel homes of only 400 in the entire Visayas.
"Bacolod accounts for only about 8% of the total urban TV households in the Visayas, according to computations based on the National Statistics Office (NSO) population figures and AC Nielsen figures from their 2000 Fact Book. Eighty-nine (89) devices are already more than 22% of the total panel homes in the Visayas.
"Besides, GMA Network's ratings in the provinces—particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao—have not shown any significant improvement since July of 2007 when it started to subscribe to the ratings of AGB. If there was any involvement on GMA's part on the alleged tampering of panel homes in the area, then its ratings there should have experienced significant increases.
"The programs of ABS-CBN mentioned by it as having been affected by the alleged tampering have experienced consistently high ratings in the Visayas. In contrast, their counterpart programs on GMA rated low based on data from AGB.
"Also, for more than four years now, GMA Network has been complaining to AGB about the very big, highly illogical and unexplainable disparity between the cable and non-cable ratings of GMA's programs, which do not obtain in respect to ABS-CBN's programs.
"It is only in the Philippines that the ratings of programs on non-cable or free TV households exhibit a very different behavior from the cable households. Coincidentally, the Philippines is also the only country in the world where a competing free-to-air TV station also operates or controls the dominant cable company.
"GMA Network sent letters to AGB long before ABS-CBN's complaint and these letters show how much the Network wants to find out if there are indeed irregularities in the ratings data gathering process.
"GMA is equally interested in getting at the bottom of this allegation. The Network is determined to find out whether or not the ratings survey can indeed be tampered with."