PEMRA sells 3 DTH licenses for PKR 14.6 Billion


For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the government through its media regulator PEMRA has awarded 3 DTH (Direct To Home) licenses after a tiring 15 hours bidding marathon that actually tested how deep the pockets of media investors are.

12 bidders fought tooth and nail, and only three came out as winners. Mag Communications, Shahzad Sky and Startimes Communications bidded PKR 4.898 billion each for obtaining 15 years long license for providing DTH services in Pakistan.

Licence 1

MAG Entertainment Pvt Ltd (Lahore)
Licence fee: Rs4,898 million

Licence 2

StarTimes Pakistan Communi­ca­tions Pvt Ltd (Islamabad)
Licence fee: Rs4,898 million

Licence 3

Shahzad Sky Pvt Ltd (Islamabad)
Licence fee: Rs4,898 million

“Media has entered a new era after the auction of DTH licences,” Pemra Chairman Absar Alam said after the bidding ended.

How to pay?

Successful bidders will be required to submit 15% cent of the licence fee in first installment, 35% in the second installment and rest of the fee in third installment.

The bidding started around 1 PM yesterday from an amount of Rs. 200 million mark and it took 15 long hours to conclude it.

Despite nationwide agitation by the cable operators and a complete shutdown of TV transmission across the country, the bidding started by PEMRA in response to Supreme Court’s order on the PEMRA’s petition which allowed the association to hold the auction.

The show of wealth started from PKR 310 million and hovered around 1000 million in next few hours when Sardar Builder crossed PKR 1 billion mark, and from there it was no turning back until it reached to PKR 4,898 million (4.898 billion).

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had given the approval to 12 companies out of 16 for taking part in the bid for Direct-to-Home (DTH) license. The names of the companies that participated in the DTH auction were:

  1. M/s. Orient Electronics (Pvt.) Ltd., Lahore
  2. M/s. Mag Entertainment (Pvt.) Ltd., Lahore.
  3. M/s. Skyflix (Pvt.) Ltd., Islamabad.
  4. M/s. Startimes Communications (Pvt.) Ltd., Islamabad.
  5. M/s. Sardar Builders (Pvt.) Ltd., Islamabad.
  6. M/s. Smart Sky (Pvt.) Ltd., Islamabad.
  7. M/s. Parus Media & Broadcast (Pvt.) Ltd., Islamabad.
  8. M/s. Nayatel (Pvt.) Ltd., Islamabad.
  9. M/s. Mastro Media Distribution (Pvt.) Ltd. Islamabad.
  10. M/s. Shahzad Sky (Pvt.) Ltd. Islamabad.
  11. M/s. HB DTH (Pvt.) Ltd. Islamabad.
  12. M/s IQ Communication (Pvt.) Ltd. Karachi.

The discussion of awarding DTH licenses started back in 2002, and it took almost 14 years to conclude the process. Interestingly today, the total amount PEMRA expects to receive is over 14 billion.