Pak DTH licence bidding stayed


MUMBAI: The Lahore High Court reportedly stayed the DTH licence bidding process till a decision on petitions challenging PEMRA rules governing licences is taken.

A bench headed by Justice Ayesha A. Malik issued the order suspending the DTH (direct-to-home) licence bidding process scheduled for Wednesday, Dawn reported.

The decision was taken on similar applications filed by the Independent Newspaper Corporation and others.

The bench had already heard the main case against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) rules on DTH service licences and reserved its judgement.

Some media companies had questioned the rules terming them discriminatory. They accused PEMRA of not allowing local broadcasters to participate in the bidding. PEMRA had opposed the petitions arguing that a broadcaster could not be a distributor of its own content. It would be a conflict of interests, PEMRA stated.

Cable operators strike off

The Cable Operators Association on Tuesday called off its strike following discussion with the minister of state for information Marriyum Aurangzeb and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association.

COA president Khalid Arain said the government had assured them that their concern over DTH licences the issue would be addressed.

PBA supports cable operators

Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) chairman Mian Amir Mehmood has said that a joint committee would negotiate the terms regarding DTH with the government. He said that DTH was unfair to the cable industry and the Pakistani channels.

If the reservations of Pakistani channels and the cable industry were not resolved, it was also decided in the meeting, the PBA members will not allow PEMRA to telecast its channels on the DTH. The PBA has also assured the cable operators of its support in case of retaliation by PEMRA, the News reported.

Cable channels subsequently reopened throughout Pakistan.

Also read

Cable TV suspended in parts of Pakistan; Senate okays DTH plan

PEMRA announces DTH licence bidders; Indian DTH eviction to continue

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