Survey firm AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines has asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to stop giant TV network ABS-CBN from airing their commercial plugs regarding the alleged manipulation of television ratings.
In the said commercial plug, the Kapamilya network asks viewers who are part of the AGB Nielsen household ratings panel to show and prove that they have 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," said AGB Nielsen's legal counsel Atty. Francisco Rivera to gmanews.tv.
The media research firm filed a motion for protection order this morning, January 4, before the sala of Judge Charito Gonzales of QC RTC Branch 80. The court, meanwhile, gave ABS-CBN five days to file their comment on AGB Nielsen's motion.
As for their investigation into the allegations made by ABS-CBN with regards to ratings manipulation, Atty. Rivera said that they would release their findings next week.
Atty. Rivera also mentioned that ever since the ratings controversy came out, the media research firm has excluded "exposed" panel homes from being included in the ratings survey.
GMA Network, which has been accused of rigging the ratings, filed a P15-million civil charge for libel against ABS-CBN yesterday, January 3. GMA-7 also aired their own plugs denying any participation in the alleged ratings manipulation. The Kapuso network said that they spend millions of pesos in promoting the network in the provinces and that it would never resort to bribery.
ABS-CBN claimed that an unidentified informant told them that some people tracked down AGB panel homes in Bacolod and gave the residents P500 and grocery items in exchange of watching GMA shows.
ABS-CBN was able to get a temporary restraining order last month from QC RTC that prohibited AGB Nielsen from undertaking television ratings measurement for 20 days.
GMA Network has repeatedly quoted DZMM reporter Junrie Hidalgo, "Tahasang inamin na ngayon ng AGB Nielsen Media Research na ang GMA Network ang siyang nasa likod ng sinasabing pagmamanipula ng survey ng television ratings sa Bacolod."
GMA-7 considers this libelous despite the affidavit filed by AGB Nielsen General Manager Maya Refroma clearing the the network of any wrongdoing.ABS-CBN, in a statement released yesterday, said, "We continue to stand by our earlier news reports that AGB Nielsen Media Research General Manager Maya Reforma identified GMA-7 as the broadcast network behind the efforts that compromised panel homes in Bacolod."