Saturday, May 21

‘Fighting a hard battle’

Instead of making efforts to block the on-going cable boom, we must prepare ourselves to thwart any attempts, which can destroy the fabric of our society, says COO Worldcall Yasin Joyia

The Chief Operating Officer of Worldcall Yasin Joyia has been in the entertainment field since 1990. He has witnessed the transformation – from antenna laden roofs to underground cables. He is for quality entertainment sans any moral, ethical and social infringements. He said:
"Worlcall is providing all kinds of infotainment services. We are into edutainment (derivative from education and entertainment) too. Our liaison with the Virtual University is for the promotion of distant learning. Hence, infotaiment and edutainment are our primary concerns.
"Cable has brought easy access as the subscriber can watch about 85 channels through one wire. Gone are days when PTV used to hold sway over others, but with the advent of the Indian electronic media revolution, television has become a customised and specialised service. Now Pakistan has about 1200 cable operators whereas between 300 to 400 are working in grey areas. The cable system is in place now, and we need to regulate it. Worldcall believes in personalised checking and its employees are working round the clock to ensure quality service. We also firmly believe in self-sensorship; that is why our service is not available from 12 noon to 2 pm on Fridays.
"The government must give it the status of an industry because a large number of people are employed in this sector and it is generating a huge revenue for various public departments. It must protect the investors’ money as one can find big foreign investments in this sector. For instance, Broadband and Worldcall have made about Rs 2 billion investment in this sector.
"We have about 19 in-house channels – 15 for entertainment, three religious and one interactive (chat). We claim to provide the best quality of transmission. We also practise strict self-sensorship policy. That is why we don’t relay any mujras, stage plays or Russian channels. We stand for family entertainment, and so far we have not received any complaint about the content. Our Customer Care Department is here to check this.
"According to the PEMRA Rules 2002, there is no ban on ads. Nevertheless, it has outlined certain criteria by virtue of which the ads should not be injuring any individual’s or sect’s feelings apart from falling within the ambit of moralities and constitution of Pakistan. However, ads’ duration should not be of more than three minutes.
"As far as the copyrights issue is concerned, the government is doing a lot about it. Now the West wants to put a curb on copyright violations in this part of the world as well. No doubt, the problem is pretty gigantic considering the fact that movies are relayed on cable even prior to their release in the theatres of the respective countries.
"For the Viewers’ Choice movies through telephonic voting, we have been given a licence by the PTCL. By virtue of this, 60 percent of the revenue goes to the telecommunication limited.
"Competition among various cable operators depends on the investment and the team working for the project. We are competing in a corporate era where everyone wants to create a monopolistic situation for himself. We get licences through an open bidding. We have about 10-15 competitors in our area. Ultimately, it is in the viewers’ benefit.
"Fibre optic is definitely far, far better in comparison to RGs. Moreover, we have a strong backup in the form UPS and batteries, and 37 vans for the customer complaint handling.
"In future, we are coming up with a security system, helping the traffic police in its operations apart from having other value-added services."

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