The news: The Ministry of Science and Technology has developed a Pakistani version of Netflix. The online streaming service will be launched after it has been approved by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
Pakistani Netflix: The Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry has announced that his ministry has developed the “technology part” of the streaming service, also known as over the top (OTT) television. This streaming service will be the first of its kind in the country. The minister said PEMRA has been asked to prepare a guideline regarding the content that can be provided through this platform. The service will be all set to launch in PPP (public-private partnership) mode after PEMRA’s approval. Chaudhry also mentioned that the Pakistani version of Netflix would be another humble contribution to the country by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Over the top: An Over-the-Top (OTT) service is one that relies on streaming to offer services directly to the viewers via the internet. This process bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms and only requires a stable internet connection. Netflix is a popular American media services company that provides subscription-based streaming services to its users all over the world including Pakistan. It offers quick access to an entire library of films and television series, including those that it produces itself as part of the monthly or yearly subscription.
Regulation: Recently, PEMRA also announced a call for feedback from stakeholders on a consultation paper to license and regulate ‘web TV’ and OTT content services. Through this consultation, PEMRA seeks to bring OTT content services in specific, and web streaming services in general to the country. This development was announced after a need for a local streaming service platform had been acknowledged and emphasized upon by many Pakistani artists. Five Pakistani original series have also been picked up by an Indian streaming giant including ‘Churails’ that has received acclaim in Pakistan as well as India.