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Understanding Broadcast Media Economics in Pakistan

Fahd Zulfiqar and Fida Muhammad Khan
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Fahd Zulfiqar: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.
Fida Muhammad Khan: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.

No 2021:7, PIDE-Working Papers from Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Abstract: This paper attempts to understand the economics underlying broadcast media in Pakistan. Specifically, we seek to understand the media market in Pakistan, the politics of media ratings in the country, and the role of PEMRA as the regulator of broadcast media. After explaining what media economics as a specialised field of scientific inquiry entails, we examine the magnitude and trend of advertisement expenditures and its consequences for the quality of broadcast content. Next, we have detailed the dynamics of ratings of the broadcast media content and again its impact on the quality of content. Finally, the role of PEMRA as the regulator of broadcast media is investigated. Our findings suggest that the high magnitude of advertisement expenditure and the dynamics of ratings induce the broadcasters to focus on the preferences of the advertisers rather than society at large. The role of PEMRA is open to question— over-reliance on its status as the regulator of broadcast media content rather than that of a media market, and preference for policing over persuasion has caused trust deficit between licensees and PEMRA. We offer a few pragmatic options for improving the economics of broadcast media in Pakistan.

Keywords: Broadcast Media; Economics; Media; Pakistan; PEMRA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul and nep-isf
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