It seems like Pakistan needs to wait a bit longer in order to get DTH (Direct to Home) TV services, since The Lahore High Court has nullified DTH bidding process this morning.
Let’s get you up to speed – Pakistan was supposed to upgrade from analog cable to DTH in 2015, since countries less developed than Pakistan, including Bangladesh and Afghanistan already have DTH services.
It became the need of hour to upgrade, an auction was planned for December 2015, although it got delayed several times but finally PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) managed to hold an auction last month.
The Bidding Fetched 14.7 To the National Exchequer
Three companies won the DTH license for 15 years and the regular fetched around 14.7 billion rupees for the national exchequer, which amounts to Rs. 4.9 billion per license.
However, seemingly the cable operators and broadcasters were not happy with the process, since they were not allowed to take part in the bidding.
The case was already in the court, before auction and LHC had restrained PEMRA from holding the auction. But the regulator took the matter to Supreme court and got conditional approval for the bidding.
LHC has nullified the bidding on the ground that sub clause 3 of Clause 12 of the PEMRA rules was unlawful hence nullified. It also declared that a broadcaster can also become a distributor as well.
What PEMRA Could do Next?
Now we have to see what PEMRA does next, would they go again to the Supreme Court or there would be another bidding. Although it is unlikely that PEMRA would start from scratch, but there could be another auction for more licenses. We will keep you updated, so keep checking back.