Policy of Government of Pakistan about the licensing of private channels in the Pakistan

Evaluate the policy of Government of Pakistan about the licensing of private channels in the country, with special reference to PEMRA.

Evaluate the policy of Government of Pakistan about the licensing of private channels in the country, with special reference to PEMRA.
Television in Pakistan:
The idea to establish television in the country was supported by the report of the Commission on National Education set up by the Ayub government in 1958. The Commission concluded that television was necessary for educational, economic and social setup of the country. Interestingly, the major emphasis was on education and hence the television was introduced in the name of education. Initially television was set up with the help of UNESCO, Colombo plan and Japanese government.
The Japanese report submitted in 1962 urged that television should be introduced as a general purpose service and also cater to the educational needs for the masses.
Funding was a matter of concern for a poor country like Pakistan to meet the graving cost of television broadcasting commercial telecast was also permitted. This was a step forward for self supporting part of revenues required.
Television was first time introduced in Pakistan in an exhibition near Mizar-e-Quaid in Karachi on September 16, 1955 by American Consulate in Karachi. People watched the miracle invention on a short circuit television. Then in 1961, an agreement was signed between a private industrialist and Nippon Electric Company of Japan to launch a television project in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s first pilot television station, named as Rahbar started regular transmission on November 26, 1964. On the completion of 90 days experimental phase, a private limited company with the name of Television Promoters Company TCP was formed in on February 25, 1965 in partnership with Nippon Electric Company of Japan, Gosho Company Limited of Japan, Thomson Television International of United Kingdom and the Government of Pakistan holding the controlling shares.
On June 27, 1967, TCP was converted into a public limited company and called Pakistan Television Corporation Limited PTV. In 1967 PTV established Central Training Institute to train producers, engineers and other professionals.
Government of Pakistan introduced TV license fee in 1970 for the development of Pakistan television.
Initially PTV had only one channel with the name PTV. By May 2015, PTV had seven channels beaming programs independently.
Private TV Channels in Pakistan:
After the elections of 1988, the new government granted license to a private party to launch Peoples Television Network PTN. It was later renamed as Shalimar Television Network STN. In 1990, STN under an agreement with a private company started first ever private TV channel of Pakistan, Network Television Marketing NTM. It went off air in 1999 due to the financial losses. PTV enjoyed a monopoly position in media outlets until the start of the 21st century.
In 2000, Government of Pakistan opened up new ways for the media industry of Pakistan by allowing establishment of private radio and TV channels to operate openly, even to telecast their own news and current affairs content. The end of PTV’s monopoly in 2000 led to boom in electronic media, with gained greater political influence in country’s political spectrum.
It formed Regulatory Authority for Media Broadcast Organizations RAMBO with the mandate to improve standards and opening of Media industry.
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA):
In March 2002, the RAMBO was replaced by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority PEMRA. It is an independent and constitutionally established federal institution responsible for regulating and issuing licenses for the establishment of Private FM radio, TV channels, cable networks, MMDS and IPTVs. Its prime objective is to expand the choice available to the people of Pakistan in media for news, current affairs, religions knowledge, art, culture, science, technology, economic development, music, sport, drama and other subjects of public, social and national interest.
According to PEMRA report 2014 issued in 2015, PEMRA issued 91 licenses to TV channels, 138 FM radio stations, including 40 non commercial licenses to leading universities offering mass communication studies and 6 licenses in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, registered 3600 cable TV systems. 01 IPTV serving an estimated 8 million households.
According to people meter data 2014, number of TV viewers is increasing every year. Number of TV audience is much higher than the radio listeners and newspaper readers. Awareness messages telecast on television have more chances of reaching the target groups. Public finds a big choice of programming. They have dedicated 24/7 news channels with round the clock news, discussions programmes, news shows, talk shows, current affairs and comedy shows. Public have wide choice in entertainment programs. There are dedicated channels for the different genres. Selection of TV channels for dissemination of awareness message and advertisements depends on the popularity of channels among the viewers. Popularity of a channel can be confirmed from the people meter data.
People meter is an automated system that is made up of electronic devices that record what is being viewed on TV every 30 seconds. These have been installed in Pakistani households across the country covering a large number of viewers.
People meter has replaced the manual surveys. Data of people meter helps in assessing popularity of channels, popularity of programs which determined media rating of the TV channels for advertisements.

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