Pakistan imports illegal Dish TV from India but refuses to rid itself of ancient cable operators?

Published: January 22, 2014
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DTH systems such as Reliance India, Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV provide digital television services directly to the end-users, that is, subscribers – thus eliminating the need for cable TV infrastructure.

DTH systems such as Reliance India, Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV provide digital television services directly to the end-users, that is, subscribers – thus eliminating the need for cable TV infrastructure. PHOTO: AFP DTH systems such as Reliance India, Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV provide digital television services directly to the end-users, that is, subscribers – thus eliminating the need for cable TV infrastructure.

How many of us have exclaimed with joy and literally hooted at the following sentence, at least once in their lifetime?

“Oh, great! Xyz channel aagaya!

 (Oh great! Xyz channel is available now!)

Honestly, I have seen this reaction every time a cable operator tunes in any channel which he had previously stopped running without any prior notice and schedule. I am sure any and every Pakistani has experienced this, whether they reside in the urban areas, suburbs or the unincorporated villages.

The sole cause of this problem is the existence of the TV cable industry, which we still have in use, while this technology has been replaced across the globe with Direct-to-Home (DTH) systems.

Now before you go rushing to Google what DTH is, let me remind you that you must have seen countless advertisements about DTH from across the border. Ever heard of Reliance India, Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and so forth?

Yes, those are all DTH products. DTH systems provide digital television services directly to the end-users, that is, subscribers – thus eliminating the need for cable TV infrastructure.

However, the idea of choosing our own select list of channels is still a mere dream in our country. Imagine having the facility to subscribe to only your favourite channels! It would be like choosing dishes on an à la carte menu. Imagine making packages according to your demand, paying for only that which you want to see and having a plethora of other facilities such as parental controls, booking facilities, recording of your shows, Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and many other characteristics that have revolutionised the digital broadcast industry.

The question is, if half the globe has replaced the old cable operator industry with DTH then why is Pakistan still falling behind?

Does our nation suffer through technophobia?

Err, no.

I think Pakistanis, especially the youth, rank quite high when it comes to infotainment.

So, is it our government or is it the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)?

Having a journalistic background, I do have friends in the media and broadcast industry. At a get-together last Saturday at a local pizza joint with some of these friends, the topic of DTH emerged from nowhere and our table ended up becoming one of the noisiest in the entire place.

One friend who works for a leading newspaper stated that the Cable Operator Association of Pakistan (COAP) has a very strong lobby and they have made sure that DTH technology does not gain a stronghold in the country in order to maintain their own monopoly and profit in the industry. He said that the launch of DTH has been discussed on all platforms but the COAP lobby continues to fight for its postponement.

Hence, this cutting-edge technology is still neglected by the state authorities and PEMRA. Some other friends disagreed with him and this sparked my curiosity. Being an inquisitive person by nature, I decided to dig out the truth for myself instead of relying on other sources.

I called the PEMRA head office the very next day.

The head of Public Relations (PR) and Media Department who also happens to be the official spokesperson, refused to divulge his name but that did not really matter because the information he provided was of vital importance and also eliminated every fallacious and inaccurate view that I had.

He explained that contrary to popular belief, Pakistan was the pioneer in introducing DTH technology in South Asia.

I was shocked to hear this.

He went on to say,

“We initiated the project back in 2003. The biggest media giants of our country – ARY and Geo TV submitted the bids. But both these groups could not pursue the project due to the extensive working and enormous budget that it required. According to the law, the license would be withdrawn if it did not become operational within a year. Eventually the case went into court and now after 11 years, PEMRA has submitted the bid for which various companies have shown interest. Very soon some good news will emerge.”

In spite of his clarification, I am still not sure whom to believe – the PEMRA spokesperson or the others?

But in either case, we cannot and should not forget that once DTH is introduced, there will be a major change in our home entertainment. Also, I think that it is high time that our government should take DTH technology, and other technological advances like the 3G operating system, seriously, especially since it is already being run in our households illegally.

Dish TV (Indian DTH) setup boxes are imported through China and Dubai, and are sold in every city of Pakistan. Each illegal distributor is earning around US$20 million every month out of which 98% goes to India. Consequently a total of US$150 million is sent across the border without tax deduction.

Legal activation of DTH services in the country would mean an increase in job opportunities, tax generation and a decrease in the cultural war between the two countries, since using Indian DTH means that we are only able to view foreign content.

To encapsulate the entire discussion, I would say that introducing DTH in Pakistan is not just about advanced technology; it is about media war and illegal money. The government needs to take a serious action against not only the illegal Indian DTH service providers but also against local cable operators who are running foreign content and destroying our culture.

Saman Asif

Saman Asif

A marketing manager at a leading management consultancy firm, Saman also works as a freelance writer for various lifestyle magazines. She tweets as @s_as

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Satti

    Each illegal distributor is earning around US$20 million every month out of which 98% goes to India. Consequently a total of US$150 million is sent across the border without tax deduction.

    Dear Writer can you explain this point..How did the number reach 20million Dollars….did you research for this number or you just stated it to bring life to your article…

    RegardsRecommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com/ PostMan

    ‘Each illegal distributor is earning around US$20 million every month out of which 98% goes to India.’
    Where did you get this figure?Recommend

  • Necromancer

    Yes but what about the poor Pakistani Populace who struggle hard to earn bread for their family they can not own these expensive gadgets…..the normal cable cost around 300( and in some areas it is as low as Rs. 100) while basic package for tata or sky cost more than Rs. 1000. Elite of this country want every thing for themselves……this is so lameRecommend

  • Anwar Iqbal

    We should ban Indian dish which is conducting propaganda against muslims and insulting us every day.Recommend

  • Tayyab Sultan

    commendable.Recommend

  • deep

    strange that your culture is not destroyed by Pizza – because you will argue that there are paratha places also coexisting with the Pizza. Now about the hindi/urdu content that you watch – how does that destroy your culture – when the average pakistani is watching the programs free from coercion? Surely there is a demand that the local entertainment industry cannot fulfill. Being a south Indian I find bollywood is dominated by the Punjab culture – but I am not unduly worried because along with bollywood we have very healthy local vernacular entertainment industries.Recommend

  • Dev Maity

    Considering the popularity Indian TV channels have in Pakistan, I think there is a vested interest in “NOT” having DTH in Pakistan. I am quite certain that unless Pakistani channels start importing Indian content legally, DTH will not have widespread acceptance in PakistanRecommend

  • Adeel
  • Naveed Ahmed

    People will use the best options available to them.Not going to continue watching crap quality analog cables when they have the option of buying HD quality DTH, though illegal. So instead of banning them, provide people with options which rival Indian DTH in quality and content.Recommend

  • Austinpowers

    Saman Asif “If my people don’t have bread they will eat cookies”. You do realize cable operators employ people plus have to pay licence fees to the government to carry channels. The channels you are getting via stolen yes miss Saman it’s stolen signal you are arguing in favour of ones legal will also not b allowed to carry those channels.

    BY the way a person who is using illegal ways to get tv is telling us the benefits it will bring like taxation and jobs. Just one question since you steal the signal only job you are creating is in piracy plus you pay no tax.

    No wonder Pakistan is going no where you want it all as long as you don’t have to pay for it even if it means breaking the rulesRecommend

  • naveed ahmad

    if dth comes to pakistan , only the affluent people will subscribe to it. just like indiaRecommend

  • Tanzeel Ahmad

    Wow XYX channel agaya!Recommend

  • mimi sur

    @Ms Saman Asif:
    Culture doesn’t get destroyed when you learn English and Chinese . Culture is not destroyed when a student from elite institutes recite Homer or Shakespeare’s poems in stead of Koran . Culture is not destroyed when you put in your signature in English . Culture is not destroyed when you step into Pizza Hot or Mc Donalds . Culture is not destroyed when you use a Japanese invented camera or a Korean invented mobile or German Cars or Indian invented Zero. Culture is not destroyed when you sing “shadja, rishabh, gandhar, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nishad” of Hindu Vedas.common it is “Sa , re ,ga ,ma ,pa ” etc…But this culture suddenly gets a jerk when you watch some Hindi contents .Recommend

  • Manish

    On the contrary Naveed being from a typical middle class family and moving in middle class circles i dont see any sign of cable TV any more in India. DTH along with high quality comes with affordable price given the competition and massive consumer base. So it is not just the Affluent but the middle class and lower middle class who are using it in India. My work takes me to rural places and one cant help but notice those dish on top even in rural backgrounds. Besides cable technology has been wiped out of India mandatorily by govt in most parts with the remaining being wiped out in coming year as per set target. They have been replaced by set top boxes which work in a similar to DTH tech and comes with HD option and 300 + channels.Recommend

  • MK

    As a satisfied DTH consumer i must tell you and also correct you. I get 300 Channels for about 550 Indian rupees.Per channel cost is very low. If i subscribe for annual package than for Rs.6000 i get all channels with all facilities for a year that comes down to 500 a month. Now i am not aware of the foreign exchange rate dynamics. But if you consider the HD quality, Option to switch English programs into 7 different indian languages by press of a button. Live channel view of religious shrines. Option to choose channels and movies and songs on demand. Educational (science, math etc.) channels, Synchronized menu wherby channels are categories (news, entertainment,music,sports and further sub categoried into hindi,english,regional) and on a press of a button you get brief info about the program being played ex if it is a movie then you can read what the movie is about. Recording the program to view later. Put reminders for your fav programs etc. DTH is a more than fair bargain. Unlike ur perception it is not a luxury product for elite. Everyone uses it. In india too, govt blacked out cable technology it has been replaced by Set topbox for digital viewing.Recommend

  • Mohibullah Khan

    DTH is not required for a country of blasphemers and polio patients. What is required is more masjids, more guns, more rapes, more honour killings.Recommend

  • saman

    That was just an example!Recommend

  • saman

    Dear Satti, You think a person would just mention figures without any research?Recommend

  • Yousaf Haque

    What by the way IS our (Pakistan’s) culture?Recommend

  • javeria maqbool

    Question is , is dth coming to Pakistan???Recommend

  • Nadir Ali

    My neighbors have subscribed to Indian dish tv too and they have told me 70% of the channels are in Indian regional languages. so it is high time to have our own dth servicesRecommend

  • Mariane

    If a poor country like India can have DTS then why cant we ? PEMRA should sued !Recommend

  • SGJ007

    That is the 100 Million dollar question !Recommend

  • Satti

    Yes ..that not only possible but frequently done, especially in Marketing field.
    Please mention your sources. Its a huge number you are talking about?? Otherwise your article becomes baseless sorry…!!!Recommend

  • Singh

    I am from Indian side of Punjab & here in USA I have lot of family friend who are from Pakistan side. From last 25 year I am trying to find what your culture is? I ask everyone of them, tried google but alas no luck finding any difference between both side.
    Religion is not culture. Beside religion can any one explain what Pakistani culture is different than Indian culture. What you do differently than us?
    Both side of Punjab speak same language, have same heritage, same DNA.
    Only difference I find is level of understanding & education.Recommend

  • Confused PAKI

    I have a question isnt DWN providing in Pakistan SAT TV or DBS or DTH…..
    I am a bit confused…!!! and dont understand this illegal topic as well.
    Technically a satellite broadcasts the channels. You can receive them with any Dish theoretically. Your receiver needs the desired card to allow you to watch the channels….!!!

    The cable operator distributes these channels further “illegally” but the operator aquires the channels himself legally or….

    Can any one help ..Im pretty confused after reading this article !!!!Recommend

  • IHateDisqus

    You are right. Actually rural consumers are the biggest beneficiaries of DTH. Getting a connection from a cable company is not a trivial task in a poorly connected rural area and most cable users (like my parents) had to pay extra for the material and labour to lay a cable all the way to their homes. With DTH, installation costs are the same whether rural or urban. I went through rural Karnataka recently and saw DTH dishes everywhere.Recommend

  • IHateDisqus

    You are right. Actually rural consumers are the biggest beneficiaries of DTH. Getting a connection from a cable company is not a trivial task in a poorly connected rural area and most cable users (like my parents) had to pay extra for the material and labour to lay a cable all the way to their homes. With DTH, installation costs are the same whether rural or urban. I went through rural Karnataka recently and saw DTH dishes everywhere.Recommend

  • IHateDisqus

    That is called IPTV, but is not very popular in India due to bandwidth issues.Recommend

  • suman kumar

    Poor!!!##!!^&&hahahahaha…how naïve. Yes dear why not ..a rich country like Pakistan should definitely have DTH ..not DTSRecommend

  • suman kumar

    Seems lady has created this article through noisy table discussion and google to some extent…Recommend

  • IAbdussamad

    Yeah we should all live in mud huts because the majority is poor.Recommend

  • IAbdussamad

    Yeah we should all live in mud huts because the majority is poor.Recommend

  • tungi

    im paying 1500 here in pakistan!hav no other optionRecommend

  • tungi

    im paying 1500 here in pakistan!hav no other optionRecommend

  • Concard

    Poor country like India? agreed Indians are poor on average. But when did Pakistan became rich? Your statement implies as if you are a first world nation with no DTH technology.Recommend

  • Concard

    Poor country like India? agreed Indians are poor on average. But when did Pakistan became rich? Your statement implies as if you are a first world nation with no DTH technology.Recommend

  • abdullah

    I’d like to see where you get your facts that half the globe uses DTH. Cable is still king in the US and Direct TV and DishTV there have a small fraction of the users that cable does. Europe also is mainly cable except for the UK which has Sky (many europeans users also get Sky, similar to how we illegally get indian dth, but I would venture that that is a tiny, tiny amount of users ). Secondly, where are you getting these numbers from? You say you’ve done research but some of them just don’t seem to make sense. I’m not the only one. Not trying to pick on you, but if you’re writing an article on a newspaper’s blog, I would like to think you didn’t just make things up as you went along.Recommend

  • abdullah

    I’d like to see where you get your facts that half the globe uses DTH. Cable is still king in the US and Direct TV and DishTV there have a small fraction of the users that cable does. Europe also is mainly cable except for the UK which has Sky (many europeans users also get Sky, similar to how we illegally get indian dth, but I would venture that that is a tiny, tiny amount of users ). Secondly, where are you getting these numbers from? You say you’ve done research but some of them just don’t seem to make sense. I’m not the only one. Not trying to pick on you, but if you’re writing an article on a newspaper’s blog, I would like to think you didn’t just make things up as you went along.Recommend

  • Arvind

    Hello Saman,

    If the cable industry is ancient in Pakistan it does not mean DTH is the perfect answer to it. DTH has its own share problem as well. What Pakistan need to do is to upgrade their cable technology – i.e. make it mandatory to run digital signal only on cable using set top box at user end. The picture quality would not get deteriorated during transmission plus user can select and pay for channels they want to watch. Analog signal has been banned in India. Now they can only view channels using set top box. The picture quality is better than DTH is some cases here because DTH operators are facing bandwidths limitation in India hence, they compressing the channels more than they supposed to do. HD channels can be delivered on cable and as well on fibre. Hence, if DTH require massive investment using Set top box is the right answer which would that large scale of investment.

    Also, in my opinion, people want to watch Indian programme that’s why they going for illegal DTH and not because DTH is better technology.

    Regards,
    ArvindRecommend

  • gp65

    SO please explain how the indian content producers get 98% of revenue from the illegal content? They probably get nothing.
    Further it is also unclear why watching Indian content destroys your culture. I am sure using iPhone and internet or a foreign car are not hurting your culture. It is not my case that you should personally watch Indian serials – don’t watch them if you do not enjoy them. But this issue about destroying your culture seems strange.Recommend

  • gp65

    Propaganda against Muslims? On Indian TV? And what are the 180 million Indian Muslims doing while this so called propaganda on Indian TV isgoing on?
    Please do not just make stuff up.Recommend

  • MOHINDER SANDHU

    WHAT RESEARCH? Your article shows how much research is involve
    dRecommend

  • logicwins

    @author, have you ever thought about how “your culture” is being destroyed by cell phones, computers, internet, automobiles, high fashion clothing, western style (not madrassa) education etc.?Recommend

  • logicwins

    You forgot more ShariaRecommend

  • Concard

    Yes Pakistan is a first world country which doesn’t have DTH connection.Recommend

  • Daddy

    And this is coming from 10th failed and polio infected state Pakistan..lmao The same Pakistan which is in league with countries like Somalia n Yemen.lol
    FYI, India is the 9th richest economy and 3rd largest economy(PPP) in the world, member of G16, member of BRICS alliance etc. And your Pakistan is not even among the top 50 economies of the world. Recommend

  • Raasti

    Pakistan should get rid of DTH..Yes there seems to be appealing advantages of cable tv like increase in job opportunities etc etc BUT it should not be forgotten that its illegal,so its unethical to continue with such a system..Government should take some rightful action and get rid of illegal Indian DTH serviceRecommend

  • Ali

    Saman: 20 mn USD is. a big number. You must tell where your analysis and/or source of information instead of answering a question with another question.Recommend

  • kdp

    “The question is, if half the globe has replaced the old cable operator industry with DTH” Not an accurate statement as far as USA and Canada are concerned

    In the USA and In Canada majority of people subscribe to Cabel and not DTH sereviceRecommend

  • Ramez

    You should not be wearing a western dress nor working in a multi national firmbcz that is also not in our Pakistani culture.there should not be any international food chain in Pakistan,shut all the coffee shops in Pakistan but we have tea in our culture.cinemas should only be showing urdu,pashto or Punjabi movies.lets just put an end to everything that us not in our culture.gals are not suppose to work in our culture then why don’t you resign.why is not your head coveredis that not in our culture.
    Wat do our tv channels have talk shows,talk shows n just talk shows.believe me watching ptv a decade ago was way entertaining then watching these private channels nowRecommend

  • Necromancer

    “Live channel view of religious shrines”. I really don’t think I need this but nice analysis any ways Rs. 550 Indian that comes to about a Rs. 1000 in Pakistan and plus the dish and decoder which cost about 10000 to install plus for viewing HDTV you need a TV with a HDMI slot, additional 30000, electricity bill will go up at least 5% because people will tend to watch more TV because of more programs. and really I am least bothered about recording crap no one ain’t got time for that………but best of luck for India hope they make progress in DTH technology. I really think my Government should focus on Terrorism and Poverty.Recommend

  • nitin

    Oho do check where the “poor” country ranks, and where does Pakistan rank
    Google GDP PPP and open very first wikipedia linkRecommend

  • Raza Hashmi, Sharjah

    Brains is what the author lacks.Recommend

  • dev

    Hi Saman, what is culture but shared assumptions? Don’t we of this subcontinent have shared assumptions and values – on our every day living? So our culture is common. Wish you the very best in your life. Regards DeependerRecommend

  • Anooop

    I loved the last line and the irony of it.

    Eating Pizza at a local Pizza joint is acceptable to you, but getting Entertainment from a country, which you used to be part of 7 decades ago, is “destroying our culture”.Recommend

  • Anooop

    Many Indian channels provide service over the web. So, DTH is not the only option.

    The only way Pakistan can keep this out is by not allowing fast Internet connections.Recommend

  • Anooop

    1 Indian Rupee fetches you a bit more then 2 Pakistani Rupees. What is a bit cheap in India, is costly for Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Humna Ali

    Hey why you want to impose DTH on us. You think Your DTH client is going to run only our cultural and religious content on the media. Just for your money sake you are trying to ruin our country image more. Recommend

  • Saqib Rehman

    lmao…so so so trueRecommend

  • Anam

    Very interesting piece of writing – I want DTH!Recommend

  • Aslam

    well saidRecommend

  • hamna sohail

    eating pizza means we are going against our culture? lol u gotta be kidding meeRecommend

  • lmao

    Each illegal distributor is earning around US$20 million every month out of which 98% goes to India. Consequently a total of US$150 million is sent across the border without tax deduction.
    Whether the numbers are correct or not – something wrong with the maths – dont u think? 98% of 20 milion p.m is much higher than 150 miilion (considering this numebr is per annum)Recommend

  • Alann

    “Each illegal distributor is earning around US$20 million every month out of which 98% goes to India. Consequently a total of US$150 million is sent across the border without tax deduction.”

    I’d like to know from where you got these figures.
    Also, what is the point of getting DTH connections “legally” in Pakistan anyway? The Government will just ban them all from time-to-time due to “security risks” arising out of terrorists making use of DTH dishes to communicate! Just like they do with Whatsapp and stuff.Recommend

  • Alann

    “Kashmir Banega Pakistan” “RAW/CIA/MOSSAD” “Foreign hands” “Talibanis are Indian agents” “Afghans and Bangladeshis are Indian agents” – all that makes up the Pakistani culture. Either the knowledgeable Pakistani youth escapes the country, or the ones left behind live this life on a daily “bombblastic” basis, cursing everyone else. Meanwhile the politicians chant ‘foreign hands’ mantra and “develop” their bank accounts instead of the country.Recommend

  • GetReal

    There are lies, damned lies and statistics.!!Recommend

  • marcos

    so true.. is this pak elites boys and gals thinking alas we here in india r far better.. even a children of high school from mid town/village will give in depth anaylsis.Recommend

  • John D.

    i have doubt that Indians companies really earn anything from Pakistan , you know i have doubt that 20 million theory , though 20 million is very small number for Indian companies even doesn’t matter if they will stop it .Recommend

  • BRUISED INDIAN

    Gurgaon Citys (North India’s biggest spender) DTH dealers (each) don’t exceed more than INR 3lacs in monthly average billing for subscription renewal, new subscription or new HD decoders and Pakistani DTH dealers are making $20M?? That’s INR12cr wow! This baji’s smoking the good stuff! When can I set up shop in Lahore? Please Jaldi se bataiye. Recommend

  • nishantsirohi123

    i am appalled by the whole “lobby” factor in pak
    first the karachi circular railway got shut down, then pak railway lost its freight traffic, because of transport lobby
    then green buses introduced got shut down
    it is interesting to see this, simply because when u have a feudalism based society, everything is owned by a few rich people, hence they end up manipulating the laws according to their benefit
    the black economy of this country is several times the “official economy” and things have become so obvious like how alcohol is sold, how everything is sourced from dubaiRecommend

  • Why?

    Correct ! food subsidies and army budget are the way ahead..why have technology insteadRecommend

  • tungi

    not really, its bcuz the people distributing are charging more and we hav to pay em more for lessRecommend

  • Junaid

    “Culture”? Wrong word. But I see from the link you actually mean, “destroying our local entertainment industry”. You started a argument which your article was in no way equipped to address. You might want to change it/clarify it to save yourself.Recommend

  • tungi

    saman: table per bethi thi aur socha chalo kuch likh leti hun!20 million ka figure acha laga so is liyay likh dia.hmph!Recommend

  • trin kun

    FYI there is no culture that Pakistanis can boast of…no one knows or cares …u can’t preserve something you dont have so stop pretending to ban things on pretext of saving a culture that doesn’t existRecommend

  • Anooop

    Since, Pakistan was created only 67 years ago, before that used used to be part of India, it is open for interpretation.

    Before Partitition, Pakistan was speaking Indian languages, mostly followed Indian customs in events like in marriages, followed the caste system, celebrated Hindu festivals like Basant, etc.

    Although there are certain overlaps, Pakistan has created an Arab-centric narrative and culture. People who looted India, like Ghaznavi are what missiles named after. So, its taken a very un-India approach.

    Also, due to the Religious overtone of the need of the creation of Pakistan, it is mostly a Muslim state, where cultural imports from Arabia are given much higher importance than Indian cultural imports.

    So, in a way, Pakistan is becoming more like Arabia and less India every day since 1947.

    To answer your question: Arab-culture, with a sprinkle of Indian thrown in, is Pakistan’s culture, with the latter becoming less and less everyday.Recommend

  • Sofia Khan

    Saman Asif, I totally agree with your view point. We need such
    (DTH) originality. The local cable shoes 100 useless channels. we keep flipping
    them trying to find one suitable channel to watch. Many a times that too fails.
    Our government is responsible for the mess and need to act up and start taking
    some serious action against the illegal media and content being showed.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    y’all still make less money though, currency conversion is irrelevant.Recommend

  • Zara shafi

    I really don’t care about our culture but point is illegal dish should be banned! I am our country is going down the drain but does that mean we cant bring innovative stuff in our counrtyRecommend

  • Iman Ahmed

    The features of DTH are way to better than cable. Both of them cant be compared !!! We should have DTH in pakistan. PEMRA should play its roleRecommend

  • Pseudo intellectual

    DTH is expensive but lets just have it man!Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    Pizza doesn’t affect our language, but a lot of Indian channels such as ESPN India,DIscovery India etc broadcast in pure Hindi, and they use some really hard word that most of us don’t understand, i wouldn’t say it threatens our culture, but it’s just really useless and funny when I’m trying watch a documentary about Bin Laden and it’s being narrated in pure Hindi.Recommend

  • amina saeed

    DTH should come to pakistan.Recommend

  • np

    Please read that sentence in context. @deep was challenging the author’s notion that watching Indian content would destroy Pakistan’s culture. IF watching an Indian serial destroys your culture then by that logic you should surely expect that pizza also destroys your culture.Recommend

  • mehran

    bro she is using the word culture just to get noticed as cultural wars n stuff like that easily draws attentions here in Pakistan.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Hindi is merely a different dialect of the same language that Pakistanis speak. Learning a dialect will not do any harm.

    Besides, if Pakistan can shun an entire language of their ancestors and learn a new language of Indian origin, why not learn another dialect of the same origins?

    You don’t have the problem with one Indian language(Urdu), but have problem in watching a documentary in the same language, but in a different dialect(Hindi).

    This is really strange.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Are you sure?

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/181361/economic-survey-2010-11-has-the-real-poverty-rate-hit-43/

    “By the ADB’s estimates, as cited by the ministry of finance, every 10% increase in food prices pushes 2.2% of Pakistan’s population below the poverty line. The ministry estimates that food prices have risen 94% since its last poverty survey. If the ADB’s estimates hold across several years, poverty in Pakistan has increased to an astonishing 43%.”Recommend

  • Imran

    This country can never welcome anything with positivtyRecommend

  • Moed khan

    Cable tv really sucks. They change channels everyday change number of channels. how much does dth connection charges?Recommend

  • Ammar

    Woah — where’d you get your statistics from, we’re looking at roughly PKR2.1bn per month — that’s a LOT of money. If a box costs say PKR6000, the total number of boxes sold in a month is 353,333. Assuming EVERY SINGLE household in Karachi got that box, only then your numbers can be justifid.

    No wonder the state of journalism is a disaster, with such research and math skills.Recommend

  • Hina Usman

    DTH is not expensive at all. DTH service providers give various packages! And consumer can get a package according to their pocket!Recommend

  • Sumit Acharia

    you pakistani can ONLY criticize your own people. now wonder your standing is zero in the worldRecommend

  • Zain Ali

    haha, Alann, has cable even been banned ? ONLY TELEPHONE NETWORKDS are shutdown on events!! that is such a dumb thing to sayRecommend

  • sehrish rana

    dude i think you are stonned yourself. get well soonRecommend

  • anib zafar

    wow ! a la carte channels , sounds awseomRecommend

  • aman batool

    whats wrong with this country? if a new techonolgy comes whats the big deal? should we kill oursevles knowing we live in pakistan?Recommend

  • Lalit

    i fail to see any beyond AGRI-CULTURE……Recommend

  • tayab sultan

    our cable is again gone! Sick of this problem! DTH at least does not give this issue! Really wish we had DTH in pakistanRecommend

  • Saman Asif

    Mr. Ammar, first of all you should know that illegal exercise is never documented anywhere. It is a global rule. I have received theses facts from people and companies working on ground in this field. We have investigated various distributors and the distribution channel of Illegal DTH in Pakistan. There are a total of approximately 2 million customers of illegal DTH! and there are at least ten to fifteen distributors in Pakistan. In fact bigger cities such as Lahore, Islamabad / Rawalpindi and Karachi have 2-3 distributors. Let me explain the math to you:

    As per my quoted figure which is 150 Million US going out of Pakistan annually, If simply 2 million customers recharge their illegal DTH monthly (which they do to watch DTH services) with an average monthly price of Rs. 650 (6.20 US @ 105 PKR) x 2,000,000 customers = 12,380,952 US monthly revenue x 12 months = 148,571,429 US annually is going out of PakistanRecommend