Three Direct-to-Home (DTH) Licenses worth Rs. 14.69 billion are awarded by Pakistan Electronic and Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in an auction conducted on Wednesday 23, 2016.
The much-awaited bidding started Wednesday afternoon and lasted till Thursday morning. The highest bidders were Shahzad Sky Pvt Limited, Star Times Pakistan Communications Limited and MAG Entertainment Private Limited. They’ll be issued DTH licenses for 15 years from PEMRA after getting clearance from law enforcement agencies. These bidders will be submitting the fee in three installments. Out of 12 shortlisted companies, 11 companies took part in the bidding process.
“This is the biggest investment in Pakistan’s electronic media history. The current analogue distribution system is offering a maximum of 80 channels while the DTH would increase the capacity to around 120 and each local DTH license holder is expected to have at least 500,000 subscribers,” said Absar Alam, PEMRA Chairman. He also congratulated all the bidders who participated. He added that it took 14 years to convert to DTH technology.
DTH Service will not only end the cable operators business and dominance of illegal indian DTH services, it will also contribute to the employment in Pakistan.
Khawaja Asif, Defence Minister, Tweeted:
“All TV channels together give 8 crores to govt in a year. In a single day, 900 crore so far committed for 3 DTH licenses. chuk k rakh PEMRA.”
Foreign channels will also be able to launch their services through a regulatory process. Chairman claimed that DTH is state-of-the-art technology and it is going to be a game changer for Pakistan media. It will provide wide range of choices to the customers.
Despite many obstacles, like protests from cable operators and stay order from Lahore High Court, the bidding event of DTH services was successful beyond expectations. It will be a huge step forward for Pakistan to enter into the digital domain.