The soft start of Geo.tv happened a year after Geo News was launched in 2002. It was originally meant to offer news audiences a snapshot of what was being broadcast by the channel.
Since January 2014, when it was officially launched, the website has virtually become an online television channel besides being a ready source for news updates as well as for in-depth reporting and analyses.Overseas viewers can watch Geo News live through Geo.tv and those interested in getting a bird’s eye-view of life in Pakistan can benefit from its comprehensive coverage of every subject – from politics and security to lifestyle and sports.
While Geo News is the market leader in 24/7 news and current affairs television in Pakistan, Geo.tv becomes its online avatar whenever the channel is banned or its transmission is disrupted due to political reasons. And that has been quite often the case in the last four years or so.
The website’s history goes hand in hand with the history of the television channel it represents. It was launched in August 2002 immediately after the then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf liberalized the airwaves, ending the decades-old monopoly of the state-run Pakistan Television.Geo News started as a five-member “operation out of a hotel room”, as Mir Ibrahim Rahman puts it, but has been recognized by New York Times as a “driver of change” in Pakistan’s media landscape.
Even though Geo News and Geo.tv follow the same socially conservative, middle of the road, market-minded approach that has become a trademark of Jang Group, they have taken several controversial positions along the way. Aman Ki Asha, an initiative that these outlets co-promoted along with Times of India media group to foster peace between India and Pakistan has helped their detractors to portray them – as well as the entire Jang Group and Geo Television Network – as an agent of Pakistan’s enemies.
An even bigger controversy erupted when Geo Television Network and Jang Group openly opposed the imposition of emergency rule by General Pervez Musharraf in 2007. Consequently, the channel was taken off air for a few weeks.
Since Musharraf’s ouster from power in 2008, Geo News – as well as all other platforms owned by Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and his family including Geo.tv–have publicly backed Nawaz Sharif’s party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) to the extent of earning the wrath of the superior judiciary for news coverage favorable to him. These platforms have also been highly critical of the military’s interference in politics. This criticism became perilously obvious when Geo News accused the head of a military-led intelligence agency of conspiring to shoot and injure the channel’s star talk-show host Hamid Mir in Karachi in April 2016.
This proved to be a costly move. The channel’s transmission has been often scrambled, disrupted and shuffled since then – though it has never been officially banned. The distribution of newspapers affiliated to it has also been blocked multiple times and in many places across Pakistan.
Media Companies / Groups
Geo.tv is owned by Independent Media Corporation (Private) Limited, 75% shares of which are owned by Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. His wife, Mrs Erum Rahman, holds 20% shares while the remaining 5% shares are held by Mansoor Rahman who works as a business executive with Jang Group.
The largest debenture holders in the company are J and S Enterprises (Private) Limited (with 96% debentures), Jang (Private) Limited (with 2.7% debentures) and Pakistan Ink and Packaging Industries (Private) Limited (with 1.3% debentures).
J and S Enterprises (Private) Limited is owned in equal parts by Muzaffar Mustafa Khan (33.33%), Mahfuz Mustafa Khan (33.33%) and Mukarram Mustafa Khan (33.33%). Debenture holders of J and S Enterprises (Private) Limited include Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman (who owns 75.34% debentures), Mir Javed Rahman (who owns 24.65% debentures) and Mansoor Rahman (who owns 0.01% debentures).
Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman and his wife, Mehmuda Khalil-ur-Rahman, are listed as shareholders of Jang (Private) Limited – owning 83.33% and 16.67% shares respectively.
Debenture holders in Jang (Private) Limited are Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman (73.20%), Mir Javed Rahman (22.48%) and Mansoor Rahman (4.32%).
Pakistan Ink and Packaging Industries (Private) Limited has three shareholders: Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman (33.33%), Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman (33.33%) and Mir Javed Rahman (33.33%). Mir Javed Rahman (24.24%), Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman (57.58%) and Mansoor (18.18%) are the debenture holders of the company.
Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and his family, thus, control 99.90% of Independent Media Corporation (Private) Limited through shares they hold in the company as well as through debentures they have in it and its related companies.
Affiliated Interests Founder
The younger of Jang Group’s founder Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman’s two sons, he is generally known as MSR. He has expanded his father’s newspaper publishing business into a multi-billion-rupee media empire over the last four decades – becoming Pakistan’s biggest and the most powerful media tycoon in the process.
Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, who mostly lives in Dubai, is one of the pioneers of online news platforms in Pakistan. Daily Jang became the country’s first newspaperin 1996 to have its internet edition. Since then, this edition has transformed into a fully-fledged news website in Urdu language and has become one of the country’s most browsed online news sources. As of now, almost all news platform owned by Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and his family have their own websites, each with a sizeable audience.
He has shown the same pioneering spirit in television industry and has set up several television channels. These include Pakistan’s most watched Urdu language news channel, Geo News, and the country’s only youth-focused channel, Aag (which closed down after a couple of years of its 2002 launch because it could not earn its keep).
Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s first foray into the news industry, soon after he finished his studies back in the late 1970s, was to run an English language evening newspaper, Daily News. He turned it into Karachi’s largest circulating evening newspaper soon after taking over its management.
He has held key positions in All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), a representative body of print media owners. He has also played a key role in the formation of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) that represents businesses and individuals running televisions channels and radio stations in Pakistan.
Unlike his father who mostly stayed away from directly getting involved in politics, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has never hesitated from taking on political leaders, parties and even governments. In the late 1990s, he had a bruising clash with the then civilian government of prime minister Nawaz Sharif who imposed punishing restrictions on daily Jang and its affiliated publications for their critical coverage of his government. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and Maleeha Lodhi, who at the time worked as the editor of The News International, and some other members of the Jang Group staff faced treason charges for publishing news and views that Sharif did not like.
Affiliated Interests Ceo
Born in 1981, he is the eldest son of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. He received a business degree from a college in the United States in 2000 and became the founding chief executive officer of Geo News at the very young age of 21.
In 2009, he returned to the United States and received a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2011, he received Robert F Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service for his contribution – and that of Geo News – in the media coverage of a 2007 movement by Pakistani lawyers for the restoration of senior judges sacked by then President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf.
Like his father, Mir Ibrahim Rahman has expanded his family business in new directions. He set up Geo Films that has produced such blockbuster feature films as Khuda Kay Liye (2007) and Bol (2011). The former was about the menace of religious extremism and terrorism plaguing Pakistan; the latter was about the rights of girls.
Mir Ibrahim Rahman is also as active in media’s trade bodies as his father has been. He serves as joint secretary of the executive committee of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), a non-government entity representing businesses and individuals which own television channels and radio stations.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
A former chairman of Punjab Information Technology Boardand ex-advisor to the chief minister of Punjab, he became chief digital officer for both Jang Group and Geo Television Network in January 2019.
Born in 1979, he received his doctorate from the University of Cambridge at the age of 22. He then moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he completed his post-doctorate degree and returned to Pakistan in 2005 to teach at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
He quit teaching in 2013 and joined the provincial government of Punjab to work on the digitization of official records as well as the delivery mechanisms of various public services, including school education. He also worked as the founding vice-chancellor of Lahore-based Information Technology University from January 2013 to November 2018.
Affiliated Interests other important people
A 1990 graduate of Karachi University, he started his career as a reporter with English language daily The News International. Soon afterwards, he joined English language monthly Herald.
Azhar Abbas was among the first batch of Pakistani journalists who started working for a locally-based private television production house back in the late 1990s. This was when he, along with some other Karachi-based mediapersons, started Pakistan Business Update, a current affairs programme produced by a private company but aired on state-owned Pakistan Television. He also spent several years working as Pakistan correspondent for CNBC, an American business news channel.
When Geo News was being set up, Azhar Abbas joined its founding editorial team and soon rose through the ranks to become its managing director. In December 2006, he quit Geo News and joined Dawn News, an English language television channel owned by Dawn Media Group. He left Dawn News in 2009 and rejoined Geo Television Network. He quit it again in 2013 and joined Bol TV Network.
This network was a subsidiary of Axact, an informational technology company that was later alleged to be involved in money laundering and a fake degree scam. When these allegations led to the filing of cases against Axact management and the arrest of its top officials in 2015, Azhar Abbas left Bol TV Network and came back to Geo Television Network once again.
The older brother of Azhar Abbas, he is also a renowned journalist and is working as the editor of English language daily Dawn
Another older brother of Azhar Abbas, he works as a news analyst for Geo News.
The third brother of Azhar Abbas, he retired as a major general from the Pakistan Army in 2012. His last posting was as director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations, the army’s media wing.
He has been working as the editor of Geo.tv since June 2011. Before that he worked with Dawn News television channel for more than five years. He received his master’s degree in digital and visual media in 2016 from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.
7th floor, Landmark Plaza
Ismail Ibrahim Chundrigarh road, Karachi
Revenue (in Mill. $)
USD 85 Million / PKR 8.78 Billion
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
USD 8.59 Million / PKR 885.59 Million
Advertising (in % of total funding)
USD 82 Million / PKR 8.53 Billion (97.15%)
The outlet was sent information request on 14 January 2019 through a courier company as well as by email. It did not respond even after a reminder was couriered on 1st February 2019 and emailed on 4 February 2019. No verified online information is available about daily Jang’s ownership structure and its financial status.
Financial information for this outlet profile has been obtained from a report that Independent Media Corporation (Private) Limited submitted to the SECP about financial year that started on 1stJuly 2013 and ended on 30 June, 2014.
The revenues and profit mentioned above also pertain to the whole of Independent Media Corporation (Private) Limited (which owns some other news television channels and websites as well) and not to Geo.tv alone.