As we fall behind

(Khalid Awan, Multan)


For all those who are impatiently waiting for DTH to make it to Pakistan, here comes the sad news of DTH being postponed once again on last Friday as always. A year ago PEMRA started the process to license DTH on August 15th but then they put the plan of doing so on a hiatus for six months right before when it was to go for biding in four days, which was supposedly to take place on the 7th of December 2015. Now, PEMRA resumes the process on the 19th of June 2016. But again this last Friday dated 15th of august 2016 when the document submission date for the process approached, PEMRA again extends the submission date of the final documentation till the 15th of September 2016 as well as extends the bidding date till the 31st of October 2016 which for the fact was due on the 3rd of this October. As I go on with the subject I must clear the air for people who are still not aware of what DTH is in my own words. (DTH) direct to home service is a facility that is a total opposite of the random local cable TV network that we are used to and have been using since almost last one decade, now according to the exact and precise definition by the authentic sources.

A DTH stand for Direct-To-Home television DTH is defined as the reception of satellite programs with a personal dish in an individual home. DTH does away with the need for the local cable operator and puts the broadcaster directly in touch with the consumer,  this very definition can be pulled off from google as easily as possible, the purpose of emphasizing on what DTH is not just to make you all familiar with the service, but to put a question in your minds that everything that is related to technology has always been not just introduced but practically implemented in Pakistan has always taken ages.

So, as the argument goes by upon welcoming DTH in Pakistan it makes me wonder that what is keeping PEMRA to license it in Pakistan whereas not only the developed countries but for the fact a lot of underdeveloped countries have been availing the facility from a very long period of time, as a media person I have a keen interest in the subject and have been taking follow ups on the topic ever since it has been introduced to me but unfortunately the subject became stale for a lot journalists like myself as the matter has always been folded and shut without a positive result which is, getting licensed successfully and practically implemented in Pakistan.

Unfortunately Pakistan being an underdeveloped country has never been close but far behind in getting through with technological inventions like such, to continue my concern here that even if PEMRA does license it and DTH does get implemented successfully in Pakistan, don’t you think it will take at least a year or so and in the meanwhile the consumers who have already been facilitated by the services of digital cable services from analogue will be able to make a switch to DTH that easily?

Let me shed some light on what is happening globally these days. The famous IP TV has made it to the consumers already and now in countries that are developed the IP TV service is the talk of the town and making its way successfully, unfortunately this new technological replacement known as DTH has already declined and is declining rapidly in the global market. So in this entire scenario it is not a big question that, will DTH will be a success especially for those who would seek their fortune in it?

Thinking why is it even a question? Indeed it is, according to my personal opinion this is what DTH will have to face; ever wondered why star TV network gave up on us and flew off with their investment in Pakistan? Yes, exactly it’s because of our infamous cable TV network which never gave them the exact figure of the users of their channels hence made very less money from the business point of view and gave up as soon as they could, the haunting downfall of legal content based star group does not end here, truth remains that our local cable TV network needs no permission with the benediction of pirated content to have an authentic licensed channel aired from PEMRA. All they need is a way to pirate a channel which by the way is done in the nick of time here in Pakistan, here lies the answer to how DTH will make a profitable business if we speak for the investors. Is it not too obvious that DTH will suffer poorly to make a fruitful business when they will have to have the paid content, where, on the other hand it is for free for the local cable operators? I firmly believe it will.

And it’s not just my own opinion that I think that DTH certainly will face extremely rough challenges with its advent here in Pakistan but as we speak of global aspect and talk about what certain researchers are highlighting in the specific way, there are countless and eminent reports that are addressing the same concern as well as foreseeing the future of TV channels being digitalized with moderate means not just with DTH. As an example to strengthen my argument I am providing some facts and figures followed by the link from where the detailed information can be extracted

Before I conclude I must say that I do encourage the advent of DTH in Pakistan as it has all those benefits such as choosing channels of your own interests that gratifies your needs from the not at all provided list by the local cable TV network, yes we can manage our own TV channels and have them installed according to our needs with DTH and it makes life more than just easier when you know what you want in your house especially for your family even if it is for the sake of entertainment rather than invaded channels provided by local cable network. The perks of DTH service are a lot, and when it has become the need of the hour there is always a delay in its breakthrough in Pakistan, and God knows when will we be blessed enough by not only DTH succeeding the license but its successful fitting in our country. But sadly as I have mentioned earlier over and over and again that by the time it will make it here, the market will be full of other moderate technological advents and options already, and here I end my article by saying that DTH is already too late to make its place in the market here in Pakistan.

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