LHC Voids DTH Auction, Asks PEMRA to Hold Auction From Scratch

Lahore High Court, in a detailed decision today, termed the recently held DTH auction as void and asked PEMRA to re-start the entire DTH bidding process, starting from inviting new applications.

Decision was primarily based on voiding a section in DTH bidding through which broadcasters (Geo, ARY etc.) were disallowed from participating in the auction.

With this new court order, broadcasters will also be allowed to take part in DTH bidding.

PEMRA had earlier said that broadcasters won’t be given any DTH licenses since it will be a conflict of interest. Lahore High Court, however, decided otherwise and said that broadcasters should be allowed to participate in DTH bidding.

It must be mentioned here that three companies — including one Chinese company — had won the DTH license for 15 years against a license fee of Rs. 4.898 billion per license.

With this new order, if not challenged in Supreme Court, PEMRA will have to start the bidding process from scratch again.

It must be recalled that DTH bidding was originally planned for December 2015, but it was delayed several times and eventually an auction was held on November 23rd, 2016.

Even then Supreme Court had conditionally allowed the auction since Lahore High Court was hearing the case and had issued a stay order on auction.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they are made available.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


    • Judges will keep on challenging authority of governments/institutions to any limit no matter it is right or wrong. But when it comes to military they know it is a no-go area for them.

      This politically motivated judgement is in favor of TV channels in fact, cancel those holding more than 5 licenses…like ARY ?

      • i know right judges would always hold governments/institutions accountable to law. Said day for Pakistan. Law prevails. Sad!

  • Our courts are incredible.. seriously
    incredible…
    when whole nation was waiting for declaration on Panama case they don’t have enough water for that.
    The final result doesn’t matter either in favour of nawaz sharif or against but it should have been given.

  • Our courts have always played dirty game since inception of Pakistan and had zero credibility and had have done never due justice. Just pay them few hundreds and get stay orders or decisions in favour. Bloody such huge amount was collected from auction process and no one going to trust this country anymore and and these media houses will get licence with nominal fee.
    Rest in peace judiciary

  • apart from other certain decision not seeming to be all right. this at least stop na-ahl league’s hasty sale of license to their aides.
    Let all play and win not like few barred and loved ones allowed.

  • Baht dukh ki baat hai.
    Asia main Pakistan wahid mulk hai jahan par Dth nai chal raha. Agar PEMRA nay aik acha amal kia hai tu LHC ko issay barbad nai karna chahye tha.

  • Supreme Court will overrule this. LHC has a long-standing tradition of announcing paisa-vasool judgments. Plus, the stance of PEMRA is very valid.

  • it is pemra’s fault for discriminating against established players. they deserve this slap in the face.

  • This same judicial system was against military courts,
    If it was for them terrorists would have been roaming around and jails would be full of terrorists.
    Be eman Bikao mall BC

  • While nobody likes Geo or ARY, PEMRA can’t arbitrarily make rules against its own constitutional mandate and then block whomever they dislike from participating in an open auction. Barring the very companies which have the most experience in running such an operation was riduclous in the first place. Letting in a Chinese company on the obvious farce that they are just a 49% partner was another. Had they allowed the broadcasters in, the broadcasters would have still lost out to the three current winners thanks to the larger amounts involved and there wouldn’t have been anything left to complain about. PEMRA is to be blamed for this mess, not the courts.

    • Geo and ary already given licence in musharaf rign and despite of launching dth they started blackmailing government and not even paid fee . These media houses are thug and thieves and keeping their past record and track they were barred from participating

      • Geo is behind this case because they paid huge fee before but I would say it is their own fault they couldn’t launch the service before. They knew satellite rent is way too high so they didn’t bothered to launch DTH. Buying license is one thing running the service another.

        • ARY and Geo didn’t start the service as they were never formally given the license. The Musharraf regime withheld the license on ‘security’ grounds. Security clearance was never given and the license was never provided. Please learn the facts before making sweeping statements. As I said, PEMRA have themselves to blame.

          • I don’t care what the world thinks but I do think IPTV is much cheaper and better option than this DTH thing.

            • In what world is IPTV going to cover the entire country? Internet services are not for free and if you are thinking about mobiles, 4G data plans cannot cover all your TV watching needs. Secondly, the investment required for IPTV is same to higher than traditional broadcast networks while the average revenue per user is much lower.

              • you are really silly to say this. Fact is most of the world is sifting it self to iptv from cable and satellite. IPTV is way cheaper, yes you do need internet but no one is forcing you to use mobile data to watch TV. Government should seriously dismantle PTCL monopoly of internet in the country if you want to see some development in the internet usage in the country. Another point is that you are completely missing one point about content license. Local cable walas all share their decoders and cards to provide you cheap service you cant expect DTH walas to do the same as most content providers never sell below their minimum price for a user. You think India as an example but they had DTH more than ten years ago, I have used their DTH and seen the quality. They problem is when you compress one video to a smallest size the quality decreases and DTH operators pay for bandwidth in the form of transponders in million of dollars why would you think you will still be getting better quality even DTH does comes to Pakistan?

                • You seriously expect that someone is going to bring IPTV to the entire country with fiber connections to the home? Do you even know the cost for laying down fiber to millions of homes? Mobile data would be the only avenue to bring internet services to the whole nation and IPTV will not be a priority service on these connections.
                  Encoding codecs gave improved significantly over time. India started its DTH services with MPEG2 encoding where a decent quality standard definition channel would take 3-4Mbps. MPEG4 encoding brought this down to 1.5-2Mbps. Now HEVC has brought this further down and you can fit a high definition channel within 4MBps. HEVC is what our DTH operators were going to go with before the licenses were cancelled. The encoding on IPTV services uses the same aforementioned codecs. Only the distribution medium changes from DVB to IP. Netflix’s HD channels are using 4MBps with MPEG4 encoding.

                  • you are wrong again. First of all even Youtube uses VP9 and even netflix uses HEVC, VP9. The thing is that you are not talking about licensing costs for STB with all these high efficient new codecs. And who was even saying that you will be getting HEVC on Pakistani DTH?? the fact is Pakistani DTH can not compete with Indian DTH due to the fact that when you can get cccam on 100 rupees per month and you need 100 rupee sim package for all Dishtv india package who will even spend this 500-800 per month on Pakistani solution?..Pakistani DTH system needs huge investment in the form of STB which are not cheap in Pakistan even for cable walas as they are asking 5000 flat and you could easily find sim dish receiver for 3000 rupees with 6 month sharing package. Fiber optic infrastructure will have to be laid if not today then tomorrow. Even southern India is using electricity poles to distribute internet on fiber to home. Why you think people should stay on copper lines?? only monopoly in Pakistan is UAE controlled PTCL which should be dismantled as Arabs are sucking Pakistani blood and dont plan to pay or invest in Pakistani internet infrastructure.

        • The ‘huge’ amount at which the licenses were given in 2003 was 24 crores. The current licenses is at 4900 crore. If this was a money issue then the current winners had a huge advantage over Geo and ARY. Both these companies have nowhere near this amount to pay for a license. The court based it decision on the stupidity of the PEMRA rules, not based on the money involved.

  • Ab new bid ma telecom companies ko b add krain like jazz.zong.telenor.ufone.or new bid next month honi chaye or license at least 6 7 hony chaye ab.
    India ma 7 dth providers dth dy rhy hen

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