The Nation Story.

As per Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Pakistan is expected to attract direct investment of at least US$150mn after Nov 23 bidding for three Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcast licenses.

 As per reports, 12 companies, including three foreign operators as part of local consortium, has been shortlisted for aforementioned bidding.

DTH is expected to change the dynamics of electronic media industry. Pakistan has a reported electronic media subscriber base of around 25mn at present. Going forward, foreign channels will get landing rights to come under the local regime through a regulatory process.

Initial estimates provide that set-top boxes (STB) for transmitting broadcasts to home would cost around Rs. 3,500 with a monthly subscription of Rs. 550. The base price set for each license bidding is Rs. 200mn.

After the successful completion of bidding process, DTH license holders would have to start operating within a year otherwise they face the risk of license termination. DTH holder needs to pay 65% of the total amount immediately while the remaining balance can be paid in three yearly instalments. DTH license holders have to bear Rs10mn annual fee with 2% of gross revenues after completion of 3years of operations.

PTC is participating in the bidding process through a wholly owned subsidiary Smart Sky Limited along with Russian operator in the consortium (total holding 49%) under the banner of Parus Media and Broadcast Ltd.

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