The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Thursday initiated an auction for the issuance of 70 more licences for satellite TV broadcast stations.
Total 187 companies have been participating in the auction of licences for seven categories including news and current affairs, education, sports, regional languages, health, entertainment and agriculture. At the start of the auction, licences for eight news and current affairs channels were offered.

Total 35 companies were shortlisted, 21 of them participated in the bidding and 14 abstained. The base price fixed by the PEMRA for news and current affairs channel was Rs 63.5 million. After a long tally of bids, the highest bid offered by eight bidders was Rs 283.5 million each.

The successful bidders were AAA Media House, Al-Kamal Media, Classic Entertainment, Fifty One Corporation, Mumtaz-6A Ltd, Sardar Media and Talon Media. Al-Kamal Media Company placed the highest bid in the category at Rs 283.5 million.

For the entertainment category, 16 licences were auctioned for Rs 50.5 million each. The successful bidders included AB Entertainment (Pvt) Ltd Lahore, 2Al-Kamal Media (Pvt) Ltd, Ali Kazi (Pvt) Ltd, City News Network (Pvt) Ltd, EMTEL Communication (Pvt) Ltd., Galaxy Broadcasting Network(Pvt) Ltd, HI-Tech Feeds (Pvt) Ltd, J&N Communication (Pvt) Ltd, Media and I (Pvt) Ltd, Mehtab Publications (Pvt) Ltd, Mumtaz-6A (Pvt) Ltd, Sardar Media (Pvt) Ltd, Sitara Chemical Industries (Pvt) Ltd, Sohail International (Pvt) Ltd, Venus Entertainment Company (Pvt) Ltd and Vision Network, Television (Pvt) Ltd.

Twelve licences were issued for regional language TV channels for Rs 102 million each. The successful bidders included 95 Entertainment Ltd, Ali Kazi Ltd, Big Tree Media, Burdi Media, Galaxy Broadcasting Network, Hamza Sadiq News Network, Media Able, Mehtab Publications, Popular Technology Network, Rainbow Printing Solutions and Sardar Media.

PEMRA Chairman Saleem Baig, who inaugurated the process of auction, said 70 licences would be issued in the two-day bidding. He said it was a landmark occasion as the auction of licenses of 70 satellite television channels thorough open bidding would prove a watershed in the electronic media industry.

He said PEMRA had given permission for the auction in its 155th meeting and advertisement for the purpose was given in December last year.

He said the media had played an important role in the creation of awareness among the masses.

He said currently there were 88 satellite TV channels operational while 33 were given landing rights, whereas 227 FM radio stations were also working in the country.

He said eight Internet Protocol TV licences had been issued whereas one Direct To Home (DTH) license was also issued and hopefully it would become functional by the year-end which would expand the media market.

Director General Licensing Vakil Ahmed Khan informed the audience that eight licenses would be auctioned for news and current affairs category, 27 in entertainment, 12 in regional languages, five in sports, 12 in education, four in health and two in an agricultural category.

He expressed the hope that with the opening of 70 new TV channels, new job opportunities would be created for the educated youth.

He said the authority worked in consultation with all the stakeholders and took their input before taking important decisions.

The PEMRA chairman assured that the auction of 70 television channels would be held in a transparent manner.

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By Expat