Monday, April 02, 2018

PEMRA orders restoration of all Geo TV channels within 24 hours

'Suspension of any licensed TV channel is a violation of PEMRA rules; cable operators asked to ensure transmission of licensed TV channels'


ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has ordered restoration of all Geo TV channels on their actual position within 24 hours, according to a press statement by the regulatory body issued Monday.

Taking notice of suspension of licensed TV channels in different parts of the country, the PEMRA stated that it has not ordered suspension or change of position of any channel.

"Suspension of any licensed TV channel is a violation of PEMRA rules, hence all the cable operators are informed to ensure transmission of channels licensed by the PEMRA on cable TV networks," the statement read.

The regulatory body has also kicked off action against cable operators involved in violation of its rules, it added.

It directed cable operators to restore all Geo TV channels on their actual positions within 24 hours.

"In this regard, today on April 2, 2018, PEMRA, while issuing notice of licenses suspention of Wateen Multimedia Lahore, and WorldCall Cable Lahore and Karachi, has directed them to restore all Geo TV channels on their actual positions within 24 hours," the statement said further.

Moreover, the PEMRA warned that in case of non-compliance it would initiate the process of revoking the said licenses under Section 30 of the PEMRA Ordinance.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said they have decided to suspend licenses of cable operators involved in putting Geo TV channels off air.

Speaking to Geo News, she said that massive complaints were received with regard to the closure of Geo News over the past two weeks. The minister said that suspending Geo News and its repositioning by cable operators is in violation of PEMRA rules.

"Suspending [transmission] of Geo News is a violation of PEMRA rules and code of conduct," the minister said, adding that "any TV channel cannot be suspended until it commits a violation the PEMRA Act."

She further warned of revoking licenses of cable operators under the PEMRA Act, if they failed to restore transmission of Geo TV channels.

A day ago, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal expressed concern over the suspension of Geo News and other channels of the organisation.

Speaking on Geo News' programme 'Naya Pakistan,' Iqbal said that neither PEMRA nor the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued instructions to put the channels off air.

The minister said that the prime minister had been informed about the broadcast suspension.

"If these things are not corrected then questions will be raised on the transparency of the upcoming elections," Iqbal said.