PEMRA raids, blocks operators/channels

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    ISLAMABAD: Enforcement teams of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) raided over 50 cable TV networks in various parts of country on Thursday to stop illegal satellite and CD channels shown by cable operators despite repeated warnings to stop them.

    A PEMRA press release said that excessive CD channels on cable networks were not only a peril but a main source of content piracy and plagiarism which the PEMRA was taking seriously to address.

    Some illegal Indian and other channels namely Sahara, Zee, Tolo, Shamshad, IRIB, WB, TURBO etc. were also off-aired from cable networks in Sindh and Khyber Pukhtunkhawa.

    The cable operators faced PEMRA’s wrath included M/s. Digital Cable Jhelum, M/s. Sun Shine Cable, Jhelum, M/s. Fast Link Cable Chakwal, M/s. Foxtel Cable Islamabad, M/s. Star Tel Cable, M/s. Future Tech Cable, Attock, M/s. Sam Cable Islamabad, Hazara Cable, M/s. A.U. Cable Islamabad, M/s. Al-Shahbaz Cable, Islamabad, M/s. New Touch Cable, M/s. S.S. Cable, M/s. New Star Cable, Sargodha.

    Similarly in Lahore PEMRA cracked down on M/s. Gulf Cable, M/s. H.N. Cable, M/s. Vision Multimedia, M/s. Max Cable, M/s. BMC Cable, M/s. Super Tech Cable, M/s. Aashiq Cable, M/s. Sehar Cable, and M/s. Zoom Multimedia.

    The gadgets of most of these violating cable TV operators were partially and of some completely seized by PEMRA inspection teams. PEMRA also impounded illegal Indian DTH (Sahara, TATA Sky, BIG TV and Dish TV) which were installed by the cable TV operators for the purpose of distributing illegal channels.

    PEMRA had time and again warned cable operators to observe the law. Moreover, public notices were also published in print media on this issue mentioning list of eligible channels to be strictly adhered to by all cable TV networks.

    It is further stated that large number of public complaints against cable operators for showing proscribed and illegal channels prompted PEMRA to undertake such decisive action.

    It may also be recalled that during similar pursuit, PEMRA had managed to shut down about 86 illegal channels on distribution networks.