Cable operators accuse Geo, Jang of ‘blackmail’

Published: October 31, 2010
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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.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Oct 31, 2010 - 12:11PM

    GEO Tu Aisey :PRecommend

  • Asrar Ahmed
    Oct 31, 2010 - 1:15PM

    It is quite sad that cable operators are making un-substantiated accusations. If they have evidence they should publish it. The finger pointing does no good and it tarnishes the image of press.

    May I ask all cable operators:

    Do all of you not show pirated Indian and English movies
    Are not violating copyright act?

    How many of you pay licence fees to channels that you telecast ie CNN,MTV,HBO etc

    Yes, Jang media group does have bias, but so do all media groups and TV channels. Talk shows always have a bias and it is for the viewer to make out the difference between news, information and gossip.Recommend

  • HMZ
    Oct 31, 2010 - 1:30PM

    Most people watch GEO most of the time because

    They trust the news from this group
    Geo has a first comer experience in the 24/7 news channel category.
    Most other channels emulate geo except for a few, thus Geo is considered like ‘original’
    People are interested in national level news than local news
    The group has been blocked several times.

    Other channels must focus on making their content more unique rather than follow the market leader.

    People look for more meaningful analysis (criticism included), not just news and talk shows where host merely accept illogical statements.Recommend

  • bestwisher
    Oct 31, 2010 - 1:46PM

    Dear My Cable operator,

    You have to seriously upgrade your technology to digital transmission over the same lines you supply to your customer, something like PTCL Smart has over old tech telephone lines. You can then charge more for popular channels, and we will obviously pay more for those.
    It will work.We dont think we are mislead by the group. You have to improve yourself to our expectations.
    Customer is the King!Recommend

  • Syed
    Oct 31, 2010 - 4:33PM

    How is this effecting Cable operators livelihood? ?! I cant understand !Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Oct 31, 2010 - 5:20PM

    The all above are in favor of Geo: who is is main culprit to make fuss, and speak against Pakistan as well as Pakistanis, is it Pakistani?? or comes from abroad? today just compare the comments of Ex-selector of Cricket team & Goe, as well as the law man of PCb & Geo? one can find the difference……Recommend

  • kashif
    Oct 31, 2010 - 6:44PM

    very true , GEO and jang first should pay taxes then cry for pakistan, basically they are blackmailersRecommend

  • Angelos
    Nov 1, 2010 - 11:59AM

    Be rational people, it is a fact that Media Groups in Pakistan owe country a loads of money in tax returns and other, I wonder what Hamid Mir and Co has to say about that. Why dont they make public the tax documents of Jang Group like they do of other politicians.Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Nov 2, 2010 - 9:49AM

    Well the cats out of the bag for the moment. I am sure the present Judiciary (beneficiary) will come to the group’s rescue.

    All Hail Democracy!!!!!!!! Recommend

  • Gohar
    Nov 2, 2010 - 11:07AM

    Their news usually based on assumptions and perception, rather than realityRecommend

  • Nov 2, 2010 - 12:10PM

    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. Recommend

  • Azeem
    Nov 2, 2010 - 2:16PM

    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.Recommend

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