The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has given a go-ahead to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) allowing it to resume the process of issuing new licenses for satellite TV channels.
The bidding for the issuance of new licenses occurred on May 2 & 3 2019, in accordance with an advertisement floated in December 25, 2018. However, the process met a halt when Pakistan Broadcasters Associate (PBA) moved the high court to restrain PEMRA from granting new licenses.
The PBA contended that PEMRA has issued 119 licenses for satellite TV channels under Section 19 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002. But the current analog system can only sustain 80 channels at a time.
“As a result, there are at any given point 39 channels that cannot be aired because of technical constraints of the present system,” said the PBA counsel.
However, the IHC has concluded the case by giving an order in favor of the regulatory authority. The authority had pledged that the legitimate rights of all of its licensees/stakeholders will be protected in the law of land and provision PEMRA laws.
PEMRA had conducted bidding for the issuance of 58 Satellite TV licenses among which eight were in News & Current Affairs, 16 in Entertainment, five in Sports, two in Agriculture, 12 in regional languages, four in Health, and 11 in Education genre.