Come Out Clean – PBS

12/07/2012 16:24

The Consumer Council of Fiji is demanding answers from the Pacific Broadcasting Services Fiji CEO, Simon Fong to come out “clean” and explain the company’s present state of affairs.

All PBS subscribers who pay $54 monthly to enjoy their favourite channels have a legitimate right to know why they are not getting “service as usual.”

Mr Fong owes a duty to his customers to unveil the truth about PBS’s future – if the business was going through some financial fiasco or whether it is nearing a closure.

The Council has received what I would describe as an “overwhelming” number of queries and complaints from the PBS subscribers, wanting answers on why there has been a drop in channels and the transmission has not been normal for weeks now.

The Hindi channels – Sony, Colours, NDTV Imagine and Zee plus has been having repeated disruptions. Only one Hindi channel i.e. Zee is operating normally while Colors, Sony and NDTV is down. The Cartoon network Nicklodean has been down for a month.

These disruptions coincide with the closure of United Broadcasting International Pty Ltd (UBI) in Australia last month.

It is widely reported that UBI World TV operating from City West Centre in Australia provides digital satellite pay television service that broadcasts predominantly ethnic (and mainly non-English) channels have been placed in liquidation. It was launched in late 2004 and closed down on 8th June 2012. It offered over 80 channels in its line-up from over 20 countries in over 12 languages.

UBI World provides channels that are beamed from City West Centre in Sydney Australia and shown by PBS in Fiji. PBS’s all technical infrastructure and engineering support is based in Sydney, Australia.

With this piece of information at hand, the Council seeks answers from Mr Fong if UBI World TV’s collapse impacts the PBS’s services. Is City West Centre Broadcasting Services holding shares in UBI World?

PBS shareholders - City West Centre Broadcasting Services and BPHCL must break the silence and take note of the growing frustration of your subscribers.

We can safely say – there is a panic in the market as far as this entertainment channels is concerned. There are subscribers who have paid a year’s subscription in advance and those who have direct deduction from their salaries want to know if their money was safe. PBS subscribers also want entertainment, which they paid for, and closure of four channels is not helping.