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If one wonders why all this hoo-haa by Geo Super on the airing of World Cup matches is going on and the role played by our apex judiciary, it is safe to presume that all other matters in the country have been taken care of and upholding of law vis-à-vis Geo Super’s rights are of supreme national interest.
My take on the issue is that Geo Super has rights to broadcast in Pakistan exclusively through cable while PTV has the rights to broadcast through their terrestrial (remember the antenna on our roof tops on which crows used to rest?) network. As per PEMRA Law, PTV has to be shown by all cable operators and its priority is highest i.e. first few channels on the cable network. If two channels are showing the world cup, then subscribers have a choice to see the matches. On the other hand, PTV is ensuring that its PTV Home Channel on satellite is not showing the matches. All this campaign by Geo Super is linked more towards hurting the financial interests of PTV than the upholding of law. How that is done is:
- Create a campaign that only Geo Super has exclusive rights
- Use lawyers, legal notices and other means to tell the world that PTV is doing something illegal
- Make the advertisers confused and non committal towards advertising on PTV during the world cup without realizing that PTV is something which is seen all across Pakistan where there is no cable TV
- When advertisers do not advertise on PTV, PTV doesn’t make revenues or makes lesser revenues causing financial troubles
- Get into a legal battle and get the Supreme Court to give confusing statements and judgments
This is exactly what has happened. The lesser said about nexus of Geo-Supreme Court the better, however, what happened yesterday in the Supreme Court premises is eye popping and mind boggling.
The third generation owner of Geo, Mir Ibrahim Rehman (Harvard fame) mishandled PTV’s lawyer Raza Kazim inside the Supreme Court. Speaking to the media, Raza narrated the incident saying that he was talking to the acting chairman of PEMRA Dr Jabbar when Mir Ibrahim Rehman came to complain against potential Satellite channels being aired on cable television. According to Raza’s account, he then advised Rehman that as per the orders of the SC, he should file a written complaint and PEMRA would take immediate action over the matter. As a consequence Rehman became angry and allegedly shoved Raza in the chest saying “you are all liars” claimed Raza. Raza said that he has brought the incident to the notice of the court. The exalted, high and mighty CJ, has taken notice of this and apparently issued notice to Mir Ibrahim saying “an enquiry would be conducted into the unpleasant incident”.
When will the inquiry take place, only God knows. I am sure the enquiry will take place in 2013 and it will be said that “insaaf ka bol bala hua hay”.
Links to the news item can be found here: