Pemra suspends NEO TV’s licence for ‘illegal’ news broadcast

Published May 7, 2020
Channel had obtained licence for airing entertainment programmes but since its inception aired news content. — PPI/File
Channel had obtained licence for airing entertainment programmes but since its inception aired news content. — PPI/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regu­latory Authority (Pemra) on Wednesday suspended the licence of NEO TV after the expiry of its show-cause notice period as the transmissions by the channel were found to be illegal.

Pemra has said that due to the non-compliance of licence terms and conditions and the orders of the authority, Pemra suspended the licence given to M/s Fun Infotainment Pvt Ltd NEO TV with immediate effect.

The channel had obtained a licence only for airing entertainment programmes but since its inception, the management used to air news and current affairs content, ignoring Pemra’s directives and notices to abide by the agreement.

“Authority had directed NEO TV to stop violation of licence category by airing news and current affairs programmes (which amounts to contravening the Pemra laws) and revert back to its approved programming content that is entertainment programming in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licence,” the statement issued by Pemra said.

However, NEO TV challenged the directives of Pemra at the Islamabad High Court soon after its launch in 2015 and demanded that the authority change the category from entertainment to news and current affairs, but Pemra maintained that the official policy did not permit it.

The case was dismissed in March 2020 by the Islamabad High Court which upheld Pemra’s decision.

After the delay of around one month, Pemra directed NEO TV to revert to its original content and final determination order was issued on April 28 if the channel did not revert to its approved programming within one week.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2020

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