PEMRA To Start Crackdown On Netflix And Other OTT Platforms

Written by Senoria Khursheed ·  1 min read >

On Wednesday, Cable Operators Association of Pakistan chairman Khalid Arain announced that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) would launch a crackdown against Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms and Netflix after Eid-ul-Azha.

The decision has been taken by the authorities of PEMRA, in which the concerns were discussed with the cable operators.
“Our hands are tied, and we have restrictions in broadcasting several channels, but on the other hand OTTs have all the freedom to show famous channels.”

Khalid Arain referred to the OTT platform as a technology that delivers content over the internet. Mr. Arain said, “We demanded PEMRA that those cable operators providing internet and cable service should be regularised.”


According to him, the demands of the cable operators have been met by the regulator, and a panel of PEMRA will decide on the issue of providing licenses to cable operators. It will start taking notice of OTT platforms.
I Arain was in favor of zero-tax on the cable sector, stating that exactly like the solar power industry, the taxes on cable operators should be relaxed and make them free from it. However, he did not provide any rationale for his demand.
Mr. Khalid Arain stated that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) collects the National Loop License Fee from cable operators in US dollars, whereas the users will pay in Pakistani currency. According to them, it is unfair as the dollar prices rise daily, and Pakistanis cannot produce such a hefty amount.

PEMRA is responsible for regulating broadcast media in Pakistan, and it is also responsible for improving the standards of information, education, and entertainment. Moreover, it is also responsible for facilitating the devolution of responsibility and power to the grass-roots by enhancing the people’s access to mass media at the local and international levels.
In addition, PEMRA is responsible for providing transparent and good governance by optimizing the free flow of information. People rely on PEMRA to get the best information and transparency about everything broadcast on media. The sole responsibility comes to PEMRA if any irrelevant content is broadcast.
According to APP, PEMRA announced on Wednesday that committees had been established to ensure that web TVs and OTT services would fall under the purview of broadcast media services.

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