To overcome its annual financial losses of Rs. 17 billion, Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) has decided to increase the license fee from Rs. 35 to Rs. 100. The additional amount will be added to the electricity bills of the consumers.
Power consumers, who have already faced a 40 percent tariff increase in the past 18 months, will now have to pay the operational costs of the cash-starved state-run television.
The board of directors has approved a financial plan finalizing the increase in the license fee. The proposal now awaits Prime Minister Imran Khan’s approval.
If approved, the power consumers will pay an additional amount of Rs. 65 every month. This comes in the aftermath of a series of hikes in the power tariff which has almost doubled the electricity cost.
The irony is that the corporation has recently hired three marketing managers from the private sector tasked to revive the state-own TV channel. These industry experts are costing around Rs. 3 million per month to the national exchequer.
The corporation has a whole team of business and marketing experts, but they have failed to pitch a single business plan that could uplift the channel.
During a board meeting in October last year, it was revealed that PTV was not attracting viewers, thus, even the government has stopped airing ads on it.
However, PTV’s business development and marketing managers, instead of planning to attract the audience to the national screen, have proposed a financial plan that is increasing the burden on the masses.
Commenting on the development, Syed Ali Bukhari, a member of the PTV board, said that it was people’s responsibility to contribute to the revival of state-run television.
He advocated the decision to increase the fee by saying that the license fee structure of PTV was lower than anywhere else in the world.