Cable operators blocks 6 Pakistani TV channels
Since last Wednesday, most TV cable operators have blocked 6 widely viewed Pakistani entertainment channels. These channels include Hum TV, GEO Entertainment, ARY Digital, Express Entertainment, TV One and KTN Entertainment. Pakistan Broadcaster’s Association (PBA) has officially complained to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) for these channels blockage. This channels blackout is observed throughout Pakistan but most affected city is Karachi. It was reported that cable operators have blocked these channels to create pressure on Pemra to allow banned Indian entertainment channels. These channels were closed on Supreme Court of Pakistan’s order.
Pakistani news and entertainment channels are banned in India. Pakistan has tried several times to convince India to allow airing of Pakistani channels but on each occasion the request was turned downed. Television is big growing industry in both India and Pakistan. The Indian restriction on Pakistani television channels are their strategy of protecting their TV industry. Indian soap was hugely popular in Pakistan during last decade but they are slowly losing its audience. Pakistani dramas are always superior to Indian low quality and senseless soaps. During last ten years or so Pakistan has witness tremendous boom in media. Pakistani drama has also reclaims its audience and also reaching India via internet video sites like YouTube. The success of Hum TV’s hit drama serial ‘Humsafar‘ is one example of popularity of Pakistani plays.
Pakistan ban on Indian entertainment channels is a reciprocal move. The ban can be lifted if Indian television regulator “Telecom Regulatory Authority of India” (Trai) allows Pakistani channels on its turf. The blockage of Pakistani entertainment channels by Pemra licensed cable operators is not only depriving viewers with entertainment but also causing huge financial losses to these channels. Cable operators argue that Pakistani Television industry tycoons have used their influence to ban Indian entertainment channels to retain their local TV market.
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