Cable operators accuse Geo, Jang of ‘blackmail’

Arain says “Geo and Jang have routinely used freedom of expression as a ploy to get their valid and invalid...


Express October 31, 2010

KARACHI: The Cable Operators Association of Pakistan has accused a major media group of resorting to “blackmail” and said it is “inciting consumers to deny cable TV operators their monthly dues” and depriving them of their livelihood.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club here on Saturday, the association’s chairman, Khalid Arain, said: “Geo and Jang have routinely used freedom of expression as a ploy to get their valid and invalid demands”.

He was accompanied by president of the COAP Malik Furqan, general secretary Imran Nadeem and Punjab chapter’s secretary Tahir Javed.

Khalid Arian said that Geo network was not only leveling false allegations against cable operators, but also trying to deprive them of their livelihood. “We ask if television viewers are paying for just one channel? Are other news and entertainment channels of no value?”

Urging the government to take legal action against the group, he said that Geo and Jang have been at odds with not only Nawaz Sharif government, but also with the Musharraf regime and other previous governments over just financial matters affecting them.

Arian said that the group owes Pemra billions of rupees in dues. He said that group stopped depositing GST from advertisers in the national exchequer and the authorities had come to know about it only in 2007 when the owed amount exceeded billions of rupees.

He also claimed that the group took a loan of Rs1 billion from National Bank of Pakistan by over-valuing its machinery used as collateral.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2010.

COMMENTS (12)

Azeem | 11 years ago | Reply I really dont see what sales tax evasion, dues to PEMRA etc etc have to do with cable operators. What is their problem with Geo. Would like to know that. It seems what was said was what was on the Govt agenda.
Zahid Hussain | 11 years ago | Reply It is unfortunate that people do not understand the technical aspects of the transmission packaging and taxation problems which are: TRANSMISSION PACKAGING: 1: Contents are mere duplication of foreign channels. Even formats are copied. Anchors are mostly ill-informed, biased and clueless of the realities behind a reported or discussed issue. 2: The most popular channels are cooking channels, popular shows are morning shows and popular programs are music programs only till the Indian channels are banned. The day the ban is lifted, all the Pakistani channels will see a nose dive in their TRPs. 3: The Creative Content Development Teams are Content and Format Copying Teams. 4: When the media owners see a constant freeze in TRPs, fixed unmoving circulation base and consistent decline in ad revenue they either blame each other, the government or cable operators. They do not look into the mess they themselves are creating both for their businesses and the country. They are not the victims of the confusion created by them. The real victims are Pakistan and Pakistanis. TAXATION: 1: The declared / claimed circulation figures for advertisers are higher than actual circulation figures to bring down the cost per thousand readers for advertisers and advertising agencies and lower for income tax department. The difference between the two is the reason behind dispute. This is not practiced by Jang / Geo alone almost all media groups are equally involved in this mess for obvious and known reasons. 2: There is no such thing as "Professional Marketing" in any media group anywhere in Pakistan. For example Daily The News is the largest circulated English daily in Pakistan. If that is true than it is expected to have the highest ad rates per column centimeter and consequently the highest ad revenue too. What do the statistics reflect? According to Gallup and Aurora estimates published in Aurora of November - December 2009 the share of Dawn and the News in ad spend is Rs.1.78 billion (25%) and Rs.0.684 billion (10%) and Rs.1.75 billion (21%) and Rs.0.708 billion (8%) respectively. The understandable reason for this unbelievable difference in revenue is lower advertising rates and under the table dealings with advertisers and advertising agencies which are not reflected in invoices and receipts. 3: The media owners are not presenting false statements to income tax department they are victims of self-created problem of unprofessional business and marketing ethics and dishonest human resource recruitment, promotion and retention practices.
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