Pakistan to embark on DTH bidding, mobile TV licensing

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 26 January 2015

The Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (PEMRA) has given the go-ahead for direct-to-home (DTH) TV licence bidding and the revision of mobile television licensing to help spur growth in the country's media sector.

The authority was in unanimous agreement to start the long-awaited bidding process for DTH licences in Pakistan, which it says "would surely revolutionise the electronic media landscape of Pakistan in days to come".

The government body is hiring an international consultant to help with the DTH satellite TV licensing process, with Italy's Value Partners Management Consulting, Switzerland's Digital Strategy Consulting & Services and the UK's Intercai Mondiale shortlisted.

PEMRA has also agreed to offer mobile TV licences on a case-by-case basis for a fee of PKR500,000 (US$4,975), with the requirement that the service delivers PEMRA-licensed channels and FM radio content through PTA (CVAS)-licensed companies.

Companies registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan with a minimum paid up capital of PKR3 million, prior PTA (CVAS) registration and fulfilling other PEMRA legal formalities and eligibility criteria would be eligible to apply for a mobile TV licence.

Half of the gross revenue earned every year through the issuing of mobile TV licences would be used to establish a PEMRA Electronic Media R&D fund, the authority announced.

PEMRA has also recommended removing the maximum limit of having two landing rights per company, as it says it hampers 'the inflow of quality content, investment and employment'.

The authority has also approved the waiver of fees for the change of channel name or logo for off-shore (landing rights) TV channels.

The authority's recommendations will now be forwarded to the Federal Government.