PEMRA Seeks Public Input on DTH Services

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has sought input of the general public/ stakeholders on various matters related to Direct-to-Home (DTH) Licensing process.

According to PEMRA, to promote, extend and provide a wider choice to the people of Pakistan, it intends to grant up to three non-exclusive Direct-to-Home (DTH) Distribution Service Licenses to companies incorporated in Pakistan. The DTH licenses will be issued through a competitive bidding process under Section 19 of the PEMRA Ordinance.

It further states that in the context of the present liberalized global economic environment where economies of different countries are closely inter-linked and inter-dependent, foreign investments have a vital role to play.

Foreign direct investment is not just a large and growing source of equity investment for developing economies, it also brings with it considerable benefits through transfer of technology, strengthening infrastructure, raising productivity, enhancing competitiveness of the domestic economy and generating new employment opportunities.

PEMRA intends to grant 3 non-exclusive DTH Distribution Service Licenses to companies incorporated in Pakistan

Currently, the foreign shareholding limit in electronic media is restricted to below 50% of the total shareholding as per Section 25 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 (Amendment Act 2007).

It is apprehended that restrictions on foreign shareholding limit may represent a strong barrier to the inflow of foreign investment in the electronic media sector in Pakistan.

DTH is a capital intensive project and being new technology for the country its expertise is not sufficiently available in Pakistan.

Moreover, its successful launch will result in investment of millions of dollars into the country that will also result in generation of huge revenue for the national exchequer and jobs creation for the youth. Under Rule 13 of PEMRA Rules 2009, broadcasters cannot be issued any distribution service license including DTH or vice versa.

The purpose of this Consultation paper is to seek valuable input of the general public/ stakeholders on various matters related to DTH Licensing process which may be helpful for the Authority in decision making on issues having impact on general public and other stakeholders.

Response on the issues indicated may be mailed electronically at [email protected] or in written form to Intizar Hassan Assistant General Manager PEMRA HQ by 20th May, 2016.


  • Should majority foreign shareholding (above 50%) in DTH licensing be allowed along with management control?
    • Yes
    • No
  • If response to the 1st question is “Yes”, what limit should be prescribed?
    • 51 %
    • 74 %
    • 100%
  • Whether existing broadcast media licensees (satellite TV channels & FM radio owners) be allowed to participate in DTH licensing process or not?
    • Yes
    • No
  • If response to the 3rd question is ‘Yes’, what should be the maximum shareholding limit (without management control) of broadcast media licensees in the overall shareholding of the DTH licensed company:
    • 10%
    • 20%
    • 30 %
  • What percentage of Indian content be allowed on DTH thematic channels?
    • 15%
    • 25 %
    • 35 %

How to Respond to these questions:

Response on above questions could be emailed electronically at [email protected] or in written form to Intizar Hassan Assistant General Manager PEMRA HQ by 20th May, 2016.

Our Words:

Frankly, its saddening to see a Gmail email address for the responses that PEMRA is seeking. Moreover, they couldn’t employ a simple online questionnaire/survey tool and instead asked readers to email them the response.

We are wondering how and when our government will get acquainted with basic digital solutions.

And lastly, its very critical to either allow foreign ownership of DTH license holders or to curtail it. PEMRA must not leave this to public and decide the ownership rights based on strategic interests of the nation.

They just can’t leave it to the public poll for such a sensitive matter.