Pemra urged to lift ban on foreign entertainment channels
ISLAMABAD: All Pakistan Cable operators demanded of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to lift ban on foreign entertainment channels.
While addressing a press conference here on Friday they said that they wanted to convey message to the government that the cable operators were facing severe economic loss due to closure of certain channels and were not able to bear routine expenses.
They also demanded of the channel providers, police, MNAs, administration and representatives of the channels to stop pressurising them. The issue must be resolved within channel distribution team and cable operators without the government involvement, they added.
They condemned ban on entertainment channels saying that if national channels would stop telecast of foreign programmes then the cable operators could also stop foreign entertainment channels from the cable. They criticised the issuance of new licenses by the government instead of the orders of the High Court, 125 percent increase in the fee of in house channels, irregular surcharges, hypocrisies from some channels against the cable operators, unequal implementation of law and ban on Indian media. They demanded of Pemra to issue 80 channels list and form a list of channels to be aired and the cable operators must not be teased.
They said that instead of Rs 400 monthly cable fee 90 percent people are paying only Rs 200 monthly fee and the main reasons for the low fee is deteriorating economic conditions. Due to the reasons cable operators supplement their income through advertisement which will also stop due to blockage of foreign entertainment channels. They said that due to closure of channels and non provisions of advertisement almost 50 percent people have stopped their cable services.
The ban on foreign channels would further deteriorate the financial position of the cable operators as they are already facing loss due to economic crisis. However, banned channels are on air in every street of the country through smuggled DTH (Direct To Home) and DVDs, internet and private channels and only cable operators were restricted not to run these channels. They said that they have informed Pemra that the cable consumers were switching to other sources of foreign media programmes and this rate increased up to 2 million.
They said that the government must adopt a uniform policy for the cable operators and the other sources of foreign media programmes. They said that the government must establish its writ to block smuggling of DVDs, DTH and CDs to save the huge amount and as the cable operators were facing business loss due the illegal foreign media entertainment sources.
Talking about injustices of Pemra, they said that cable operators were paying 53 percent of the total income to Pemra but no relief was provided to the cable operators. They said that recently a group in Karachi demanded of the cable operators to ban certain channels and when the cable operators resisted then they attacked their offices and damaged the system and offices.
Source: Business Recorder