Humphrey Davies, TBS Managing Editor
CEO of CNBC's Arab-world franchise CNBC Arabiya, has announced
the impending launch of CNBC Pakistan, with headquarters in
With a team
working currently out of Dubai and another in Pakistan, the
new channel is in the last stage of negotiations for its license
and the senior team is poised to come on board. Once up, the
channel will run 24/7, in Urdu and English.
comes against a background of major changes in Pakistan's television
landscape, with the first three private channels (GEO, ARY,
and Indus) launched some eighteen months ago. If Pakistan's
parliament removes the existing legal barriers to cross-ownership
in the media, as it is expected to do in the near future, the
doors will be flung open to new initiatives in satellite television.
Already, according to Siddiqi, about 30 non-print companies,
and all Pakistan's dozen or so print companies, have applied
is an even broader context that excites Siddiqi. If relations
continue to improve between Pakistan and India, Siddiqi sees
great potential for live cross programming with sister network
CNBC India, which Siddiqi describes as "hugely popular."
"We've been in constant communication with CNBC India obviously
as a CNBC affiliate and with other CNBC networks to see how
we can develop this opportunity and when it comes. This would
be a huge plus," says Siddiqi.