Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) held its Direct to Home (DTH) bidding in Islamabad yesterday on 23rd November, 2016. A total of 12 bidders were to take part however one of the bidders failed to show up at the bidding leaving the total number of bidders at 11.
The bidding process took over 15 hours of fierce competition as PEMRA put the bidder’s pockets to test. It’s pertinent to mention here that all of the bidders were Pakistani as legalities didn’t allow foreign bidders to take part in the auction. The companies participating in the auction include Mag Entertainment Lahore, Sardar Builders Islamabad, Smartimes Islamabad, Smart Sky Islamabad, Orient Electronics Lahore, IQ Communion Karachi, Shahzad Sky Islamabad, Skyflix Islamabad, HB DTH Islamabad, Naya Tel Islamabad and Parus Media and Broadcast Islamabad.
PEMRA bagged 14.69 Billion Rupees after giving out the licenses for a 15 year period to the 3 highest bidders, Chairman PEMRA, Absar Alam informed while speaking to the press. This puts the price for an individual license at PKR 4.898 Billion per license. The bidding started from 200 Million and by midnight the figure had crossed to an astronomical amount of 4 Billion. The bidders will be awarded the licenses after clearance from the Ministry of Interior and law enforcement agencies.
The highest bidders were Mag Entertainment for Rs 4.91 billion, followed by M/s. Shahzad Sky for Rs 4.90 billion and M/s. Star time for Rs 4.89 billion respectively.
The bidding was held after getting conditional permission from the Supreme Court. The bidding process has been delayed for quite long and Pakistan currently is the only country in the region without DTH services. The successful bidders will only be able to commence their services in 2017. With the newly awarded licenses it’s good to know that consumers in Pakistan will have a better option although a more expensive one as compared to Cable TV which will let consumers have a higher control on their viewing as well as better quality output and much reduced downtimes.