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Pemra suspends TV channel licence

National

July 4, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Thursday suspended the satellite TV channel licence of Central Media Network Pvt. (Value TV illegally using name as 24 News) with immediate effect.

A Pemra statement said Value TV, illegally using name as 24 News, was issued a licence for entertainment but it was

persistently airing news and current affairs in continuous violation of the laws.

Issuing a show cause notice to M/s. Central Media Network Pvt. Ltd. on May 7, 2020, the Authority directed the licensee to stop violation of licence category and revert to the approved programming content i.e. entertainment programming in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licence.

However, the Value TV using illegally name as 24 News failed to adhere to the directions.

The TV was provided with many opportunities to revert to its original content but the licensee failed to comply with the orders.

A final order to this effect was issued on July 3 whereby the licence of the TV was suspended with immediate effect unless it reverted to its original programming mix.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly condemned the suspension of transmission by Pemra which may lead to further joblessness of journalists and media workers working with the channel.

In a joint statement, President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Shehzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi urged the Pemra to immediately withdraw the suspension, as the channel had been operational since long and hundreds of employees might face retrenchment due to uncalled for suspension of transmission.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists also criticised the owners of channels who violate the license and its requirements and instead of entertainment they launched news and current affairs channel.

Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), in a statement, condemned Pemra's order issued to suspend the licence of PBA's member "24News".

The statement added that by doing this Pemra has endangered the livelihood of hundreds of workers.

On the one hand Pemra continues to issue fresh licences in different categories of Satellite TV, although the existing analogue cable system does not have the capacity to carry more channels, on the other it is suspending channels already on air on the pretext of minor procedural issues.

Instead of helping the existing players to survive in these unprecedented financial crisis it is continuously following a strategy which is against its own mandate and counterproductive to growth of media in is the country, the statement said.

PBA demands that Pemra withdraw its suspension order and give the channel a fair and sympathetic hearing to resolve the issue.