Geo back on air in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Jan 20 (UNI) Pakistan's largest news network-- Geo TV will be back on air.

President Pervez Musharraf yesterday issued orders to immediately restore the broadcast of the news and sports channels of the network. Cable operators will start beaming the channels from tomorrow morning, The News reported.

The network was banned on November 3, hours before the President promulgated the Provisional Constitutional Order. While, all national and foreign news channels were banned a few hours before the emergency, even the sports, youth and entertainment channels of Geo network disappeared from television screens.

The government put various curbs on the media and effected new amended Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Ordinance followed by a new code of conduct. However, by November 12 the government, after negotiating certain conditions, allowed most of the news channels back on the air, including CNBC, Dawn News, Aaj TV and Business Plus after they signed the code of conduct.

Meanwhile, even as they remained banned in Pakistan Geo and ARY networks continued to uplink from Dubai. But, on December 16 the emirate authorities stopped the international broadcasts of both these channels.

On November 22 ARY resumed its broadcasts from Dubai and soon allowed in Pakistan too, but Geo remained the last one standing.

During the 78-day ban the network incurred huge financial losses to the tune of Rs 150-200 crores.

Geo that started its broadcasts on August 14, 2002. In 2007, the International Brand Rating Organisation, Super Brands, declared Geo and Jang Group the top media brands of Pakistan.

UNI XC YA AS1131

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