Several Pakistani news channels have partnered with religious channels in the UK; most recent among them is DawnNews, which has partnered with UK-based Takbeer TV.
Takbeer TV’s official website describes it as a “channel of LOVE (sic)… dedicated to promote the True LOVE(sic) of Our Beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad PBUH, Sahaba Karaam … ultimately conveying Islam in its true form to curious non-Muslims.”
A senior producer at DawnNews said the channel entered a time-sharing agreement with Takbeer TV, allowing them to broadcast their programmes in the UK.
“We have been allotted time slots on the Takbeer TV transmission in the UK which helps broaden our viewership,” he said.
Explaining how the cable TV system works in the UK, Takbeer TV’s Taj Mazhar said each channel has to buy the spectrum, worth thousands of pounds, from either Sky or Virgin networks. He clarified the channel’s agreement with DawnNews, saying they bought the news channel’s transmission: “Takbeer TV’s religious transmission is aired between 2pm-6pm and 10pm-1am UK time. The remaining 17 hours broadcast programmes from DawnNews.”
Mazhar added that DawnNews talk shows, such as ‘News Night with Talat’, garner a lot viewer feedback.
While DawnNews could have setup an independent transmission in the UK in a similar fashion to Geo and ARY networks, such a presence requires heavy financing.
Meanwhile, Mazhar says that Takbeer TV has to consider its own budget constrictions when planning its programming and bought DawnNews’s transmission simply because it could afford to.
Even though the bulk of Takbeer TV’s transmission consists of DawnNews programmes, it pockets all the advertising revenue it generates, according to Mazhar. He said DawnNews only benefits by gaining more exposure for its programmes and a new foreign audience.
Replying to why Takbeer TV’s programmes are not broadcast in DawnNews’s transmission in Pakistan, he said while the channel would have loved such an arrangement, Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (Pemra) rules do not permit so. He added that according to Pemra rules, the Takbeer TV’s offices and transmission would have to be set up in Pakistan for it to broadcast its programmes in the country.
“However, anyone in Pakistan can tune into our transmission via the Internet or by subscribing to our frequency on their dish antennas.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2012.
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