PBA opposes issuance of licences for satellite broadcast stations

Published May 2, 2019
Pakistan Broadcasters Association says issuance of more licenses will put a large number of channels off-air. ─ File photo
Pakistan Broadcasters Association says issuance of more licenses will put a large number of channels off-air. ─ File photo

KARACHI: The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) has criticised a decision by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to conduct auction proceedings for the issuance of licences for satellite TV broadcast stations without taking up a petition filed by PBA against the proposal.

The association appealed to the prime minister to intervene and stop the process.

According to a press release, the PBA had filed the petition in compliance with an order of the Sindh High Court. However, it added, the regulator was going ahead with the issuance of licences for satellite TV broadcast stations in violation of the SHC decision.

“The present cable network in Pakistan is based on the analogue system, which has a capacity to carry a maximum of 80 channels at a given time. But since Pemra has already issued 121 licences for satellite TV broadcast stations, at least 40 channels cannot be aired.

“Therefore, issuance of more licences will put a large number of channels off the air, resulting in irrecoverable losses to the media industry at a time when it is already suffering due to the economic slowdown,” the press release said.

The PBA called upon Pemra to put issuance of new licences on hold till the conversion of the analogue distribution system to digital mode.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2019

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