The auction for Direct-to-Home (DTH) licenses has successfully concluded with the licenses being awarded to three companies, reaching the Rs.14.69 billion mark of pledged sums.

According to the details provided by the Pakistani Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), the successful bidders will be issued a license after they have been cleared from interior ministry and other security institutions.

The three successful bidders are; MAG Entertainment Pvt Ltd (Lahore), StarTimes Pakistan Communi¬ca¬tions Pvt Ltd (Islamabad) and Shahzad Sky Pvt Ltd (Islamabad). Each of these bidders have pledged to submit Rs.4,898 million in licensing fees for DTH services.

These bidders will have to submit 15 percent of the fee in first installment, 35 percent in second installment and the rest of the fee in third installment.

“Media has entered a new era after the auction of DTH licences,” Pemra Chairman Absar Alam said after the bidding ended.

The auction was held only after the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to Pemra to proceed with the process but it barred the authority from awarding the contract till the time all security clearances of the successful bidders are carried out.

The bidding process started at around 1 pm on Wednesday from the Rs.200 million mark and it continued for the next 15 hours. Initially, Pemra officials predicted that the DTH bidding would fetch Rs1.5 billion for each license. However, the race triggered between MAG Entertainment, IQ Communica¬tions, Sardar Builders, Orient Electronics and Shazad Sky Pvt Ltd took the numbers way beyond their expectations.

After the successful clearance of the winning companies, infrastructure will be laid out and DTH services will launch in Pakistan.