PEMRA’s “last warning” to cable operators distributing illegal channels

Islamabad, January 15: (PR) The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has warned all cable TV operators of the country, “for the last time”, asking them to immediately stop distributing TV channels which are otherwise illegal or proscribed by the Authority. No channel other than PEMRA licensee would be let distributed on cable TV networks and any operator found defying the orders henceforth would be dealt seriously, said PEMRA in a statement shared with the press.

The action would pave way for PEMRA licensed channels on distribution networks which were hitherto being ignored as most of space is presently occupied by the unauthorized foreign channels thus leaving no space for licensed channels on distribution networks. PEMRA has issued a list of eligible channels containing 87 Pakistani origin channels and 26 foreign channels registered with the Authority. Cable operators have however, the liberty to choose channels amongst the eligible list while putting in front the subscriber’s choice but no channel other than the permissible list of PEMRA would be allowed. Besides, the cable operators are also bound to relay national broadcaster (PTV) channels which are mandatory under PEMRA law.

In this recent bid, PEMRA enforcement team had also raided head-ends of numbers of cable TV operators across the country and impounded gadgets being used for distributing illegal / proscribed channels. PEMRA resolved that such actions would continue till the sanity creep into the electronic media. PEMRA believes in freedom of information and choice but it must be coupled with social responsibility, ethics and generally accepted standards of decency & morality. The freedom does not constitute unbridled freedom putting the repute of nation and institutions at stake, stated the press release.

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