88 Satellite TV Licences, PEMRA claims $7 billion investment
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Sunday released its Annual report for Financial Years 2015-18. Section 17 of PEMRA (Amendment) Act-2007 ordains compilation and submission of an annual report for each financial year to the President of Pakistan and to arrange for its publication and circulation to the media and public, said a press release issued here. This report is a consolidated review of Authority’s performance during the financial years 2015-18. The President of Pakistan hailing PEMRA’s effort urged to make this report a regular annual feature to keep abreast all stakeholders about regulatory initiatives and their micro & macro-economic impact on national landscape. President of Pakistan said that PEMRA’s vision should encapsulate future targets to be achieved and measures must be taken to build confidence between the regulator and stakeholders. The President stressed upon the Authority to take all necessary measures under the law for promotion of local art, culture, sports and education. He urged that media through Public Service Messages and programs can play a pivotal role in educating masses. The President also expressed that PEMRA and media to play its role in discouraging fake news. According to a survey given in the report, 65% of total viewers in Pakistan watch cable TV, 25% are terrestrial viewers and 9% have access to media through satellite dishes. The consolidated report reveals that PEMRA has so far issued 88 licences for indigenous satellite TV. Of this 37 licences are of entertainment category, 26 news & current affairs, 18 regional category, four educational TV, and one licence each for Health, Sports and Agro TV channel licences have been issued. Besides, 35 landing rights permissions have been issued to off-shore channels. Similarly, 4,060 cable TV, six MMDS, four IPTV, five Mobile TV and one mobile audio licences have been issued by PEMRA which are contributing remarkably as catalyst of socio-political change in the society. The report states that new vistas have opened up for investment and employment in the broadcast sector. To a safer estimate, this buoyant sector has observed cumulative investment of about US $ 7.0 billion in distinct forms and has created employment for more than 500,000 people of diversified qualification and skills. If this brisk process continued, it is estimated that the cumulative investment would enhance manifold by the year 2019-20. Thus the direct and indirect employment would tend to increase. This growth has paved for opportunities in allied businesses like production houses, advertising agencies, music and performing arts that unprecedented. On operational account, PEMRA report said that 618 show causes notices and warnings were issued to TV channels for violating Code of Conduct 2015 devised for the electronic media. As a punishment, 25 programs and advertisements were banned, licences of 13 TV channels were suspended and fine worth Rs. 106.53 million was imposed. PEMRA inspected 18,494 cable TV networks during the period and 1,967 systems were seized. Penalties worth Rs 13.656 million were imposed. Nearly 80 foreign channels in various genre being run illegally on cable networks were stopped. PEMRA enforcement teams in coordination with FIA and Customs intelligence, seized 11,651 illegal Indian DTH and C-Line apparatus in Pakistan, 386 warehouse hoarding this illegal equipment were seized and FIRs were registered against13 smugglers indulged in illegal business. In this report substantiates that electronic media today has emerged as one of the fastest growing and competitive sectors in Pakistan. It is presumed that this report will provide insight to readers about PEMRA’s performance, initiatives, regulatory challenges and emerging trends & technologies in the field of electronic media in Pakistan.