Licences of 425 cable TV, one TV channel cancelled -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Licences of 425 cable TV, one TV channel cancelled

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Friday cancelled 425 cable TV licences and a TV channel’s license.

In its 101st meeting held here, the authority approved the cancellation of 425 cable TV licenses. Most of these cable licenses were inoperative and dormant while some of them had been cancelled for being defaulters.

There are a total of 3,600 Pemra-licensed cable operators across the country; however, after cancellation of 425 cable TV licenses, the number has come down to 3,175. The Pemra also approved the cancellation of ‘Metro One’ TV channel’s licence on the premise that the license was void ab-initio according to Rule 13 of Pemra Rules 2009.

Under this rule, a person engaged in distribution service (cable TV etc) cannot hold a broadcast license and vice versa.A satellite TV licence was issued in year 2010 at the time when the company and its director were already operating a cable TV system.

The authority also deliberated on possible relaxation of tariffs, criteria and rules for protection, facilitation and growth of electronic media in the country.In this regard, the authority recommended the removal of the limit of a maximum of two landing rights to one company.

The forum viewed that the cap was hampering inflow of quality content, investment and employment thus decided to relax this condition by making necessary changes to the rules.For this purpose, the authority’s recommendations would be forwarded to the government for amendments to the relevant rules.

The authority also approved waiver of fee for change of channel name or logo for off-shore (Landing Rights) TV channels. The authority unanimously gave go ahead for bidding of DTH licenses, which was a much-awaited decision and would surely revolutionise the electronic media landscape of Pakistan in days to come.

The forum also approved the revision of licensing regime for award of mobile TV licenses. Future licensing would be on case to case basis on fee of Rs500,000. The scope of mobile TV licensees would be delivery of Pemra-licensed channels and FM radio content through PTA (CVAS) licensed companies.

It was decided that 50 per cent of one percent gross revenue earned every year through this service shall be allocated for establishment of Pemra Electronic Media R&D fund.The meeting was chaired by the authority’s Acting Chairman Parvez Rathore. Executive member Kamal Uddin Tipu, Secretary Ministry of Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage, and private members Ashraf Gujjar, Israr Abbasi, Mian Shams, Ms. Shama Parveen Magsi and Ms. Fareeha Iftikhar attended the meeting.

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