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Although its film industry revenue is strongly tied to neighbouring India and its film productions, Pakistan is gaining viewership, say lawyers, in a market that has been troubled by political tension between both countries.


Salim Hasan, a partner at Meer & Hasan, said: “Local productions are seeing growth because of the tension between India and Pakistan and banned Indian channels in Pakistan.”


He added: “There are new channels that are very popular and entertainment channels so viewership has grown.”


Disputes over the border territory of Kashmir, which started last year, led to media market retaliation with Indian filmmakers banning Pakistani actors, singers and technicians and Pakistan banning Indian films from cinemas.


Nadeem Mandviwalla, who owns a chain of cinemas, told Al Jazeera “No Indian movie will play on any of my eight screens until normalcy returns.”


Television is the most dominant media segment in Pakistan and is part of a dynamic broadcast sector. In the course of November and December last year, the country’s electronic media regulator, PEMRA,

announced various licence suspensions and bans on Indian content on television and radio. In December PEMRA suspended Channel-24 for seven days.


In a press release PEMRA stated: ‘The decision has been announced for airing false, unverified audio clip by the channel on Dec 7, 2016 claiming that it was of the ill-fated PIA plane.’


PEMRA also highlighted the ‘adverse mental and psychological impact on the family member of those on board the plane and the general public’.


In other news the Pakistan Super League (PSL) set new standards in 2017 for digital entertainment with over one million viewers in just three days.


In collaboration with Trans Media Group & ITW Media, marketing rights holder Blitz Advertising launched Pakistan’s first DRM-based exclusive live stream, giving full tournament coverage with PSL setting a high viewership benchmark for future sports events.

TIER 1

Ali & Associates has leading industry expertise with a high portfolio client base. The firm acts for Disney, TV One, music channel 9XM and Independent Media Corp. In highlighted work the team acted for a subsidiary of Sony Television on the bidding process for exclusive global television rights for Pakistan’s cricket matches, auctioned for the first time for a period of five years. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of media law and work on cross-sector deals and cases.


RIAA Barker Gillette has two decades of experience in the local legal market, with offices in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Kabul. The firm’s media law focus attracts clients such as Pak Media Communications and Merchant Holdings. Lawyers handle a range of matters involving online media and the music sector, from advisory and transactional to contractual and litigation.


TIER 2

HaidermotaBNR & Co works closely with its affiliated firm in Dubai, Anjarwala, Collins & Haidermota. The firm’s TMT lawyers work on multiple cases involving corporate and commercial transactions and have significant experience acting for clients in the Middle East, Pakistan, UK and Canada.


Mandviwalla & Zafar acts for leading broadcasting companies and satellite operators. The team advises on agreements for satellite channels and distribution platforms. Lawyers also advise on regulatory frameworks for establishing television channels.


Meer & Hasan is one of the region’s most established firms specialising in media law. The firm’s experience includes acting for the BBC in a case of unauthorised representation by a local radio station. In a separate case, lawyers advised on the use of insignias of Pakistan Armed Forces in the popular US television series Homeland, aired by US channel Showtime.


Media sector work at Vellani & Vellani is closely connected with the firm’s intellectual property specialisation. Advising local and international clients, lawyers advise on licensing requirements, the protection of intellectual property rights, investments, regulations and tax.


TIER 3

Founded in 1983, Irfan & Irfan is an established name in the legal market. The firm’s core competence areas are intellectual property, cyber law and e-commerce. Lawyers advise on data protection, online content and copyright. Members of the firm have served on government panels and committees focussed on national laws relating to e-commerce and digital information.


Khursheed Khan’s areas of practice include entertainment, advertising, gaming, theatre and film. With a broad industry focus, the firm’s lawyers advise on television and motion pictures, sports law and joint ventures. The team has in-depth knowledge of digital media, copyright and data protection.  




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Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

Ali & Associates

RIAA Barker Gillette


TIER 2

Ahmed & Qazi

HaidermotaBNR  

Mandviwalla & Zafar

Meer & Hasan

Vellani & Vellani   


TIER 3

Bharucha & Co.

Irfan & Irfan  

Khursheed Khan  

LMA Ebrahim Hosain

Qazi Law Offices  


TIER 4

Abraham & Sarwana

Azam & Rai  

Daudpota International  

Jamil & Jamil  

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FEATURED ARTICLE BY  


SANA SHAIKH FIKREE

VELLANI & VELLANI


PAKISTAN

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