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May 2, 2019

Satelitte TV licences: PBA decries Pemra’s auction decision

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May 2, 2019

KARACHI: The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) has objected to and condemned PEMRA’s decision to conduct the auction proceedings for the issuance of new licenses for Satellite TV Broadcast Stations on May 2and 3 without deciding the representation filed by the PBA against the issuance of such new licenses.

The said representation had been filed by the PBA in compliance with the orders passed by the High Court of Sindh. However, the PEMRA, in complete negation of the spirit of the aforesaid orders, has decided to go ahead with the issuance of new licenses for Satellite TV Broadcast Stations while keeping the PBA representation pending.

The present cable system in Pakistan is mainly based on the analogue system which has a capacity to carry a maximum of 80 channels at one time. At present, the PEMRA has already issued 121 licenses for Satellite TV Broadcast Stations, which means that at any given time, at least 40 channels cannot be aired. Therefore, the issuance of further licenses will put a large number of channels off air, resulting in irrecoverable losses to the media industry which is already suffering due to the economic slowdown.

The PBA stated that till the time the analogue distribution system is converted to the digital system, new TV licences must not be issued as this exercise of the PEMRA will lead to the destruction of the local broadcast industry. The PBA also appealed to the prime minister to intervene and stop the process immediately.

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