Alongside the massive private sector media, which emerged after liberalization of airwaves in 2002, the Government of Pakistan still holds monopoly over a few segments of media. While there is no public sector / state-run newspaper in Pakistan, the government is the sole operator in the area of terrestrial television and AM (amplitude modulation) frequencies.
Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC), a government owned public limited company, which runs the operations of Pakistan Television (PTV) Network consisting of PTV News, PTV Home, PTV Sports, PTV World, PTV Global, PTV National, etc. A 10-member board of directors, appointed by the Federal Government, looks after policy matters of the Corporation. The Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, having majority of shares of the Corporation, is considered as parent public body to oversee its operations and daily functioning.
The PTVC holds monopoly over the terrestrial television and operates all terrestrial transmissions on its own and through its subsidiary company called the Shalimar Recording & Broadcasting Company Ltd. (SRBC). The PTVC is the largest shareholder in the SRBC having more than 70% of its shares. The PTVC also operates a number of satellite channels for international, local and [in country] regional viewers.
The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) is a statutory body, which was established in 1972 through a Presidential Ordinance. The Ordinance was later converted into an Act of Parliament in 1973. The PBC is funded through public money and has exclusive control over the AM frequencies in the country through Radio Pakistan’s national broadcasting service (NBS). The PBC is supervised by a Board of Directors, which is appointed by the Federal Government. Federal Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting heads the Board as its Chairman. Currently that person is Shafqat Jalil.
The PBC also operates networks of FM radio stations – FM 101 in 18 cities and FM 93 in 13 cities and FM 94 in Islamabad and Karachi. The PBC also owns nearly 20% shares in the SRBC, which operates Shalimar Radio FM 94.6 Network in Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan and Peshawar.
Though there is a regulatory body – Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) - to regulate electronic media in the country, it does not have any jurisdiction over the PTVC, PBC and SRBC. These organizations do not have the need to apply for a license to operate any television channel or radio station. Instead, they can operate as many outlets / channels / stations as they desire.
Pakistan Television Corporation
Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
Letter requesting information was sent to PBC on 23.01.2019 through courier and email. A reminder was couriered on 15.02.2019. Information request about revenue and profits was sent to PBC on 19.02.2019 but no response was forthcoming until end April 2019. A complaint to the RTI Commission was sent on 04.03.2019, but no response has so far been received. The information mentioned herein is taken from the PBC website. However, the website does not provide any information on the revenue and expenditures of the PBC.
The PBC Board, except four eminent persons each from the four provinces relating to media and management to be appointed by the Federal Government, comprises of the public officials. The government has the discretion to transfer these officials from one ministry / body to another at any time. Therefore, the [official] Board members are mentioned by their designation. Besides, there is no public information available about the ‘four [non-official] eminent persons’ as Board Members.