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Pakistan: TV Channel Suspension Worries Church

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Church leaders have expressed disappointment at the suspension of the older of two Christian television channels in the country.

The concerns continue growing as Karachi archdiocese-based Good News TV has remained closed for more than five months. The studio is presently closed, while the channel’s web edition had already stopped functioning last year.  Sources in the Catholic Church said the channel was facing a  gigantic financial crisis as well as fighting a court case.

Lahore-based Catholic TV, which celebrated its second anniversary last month, now remains the only Church run TV channel.

“It’s a pity that the infotainment channel had to suddenly terminate its operation. It could have had a great impact on the Church. Christian media aspirants will be discouraged”, said Father Morris Jalal, executive director of Catholic TV.

A few months before the suspension of his enterprise, Vicar General Father Arthur Charles, chief executive of Good News, shared his challenges with Catholic TV in an interview. “We are getting some advertisements but finances are our biggest problem. I had to feed the broadcast of 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with old popular dramas. Our production is very limited”, he described.

Launched December 2009, Good News TV aired news on current affairs, programs on the Mass, scripture readings and rosary recitations as well as music and entertainment.

Archbishop Emeritus Lawrence Saldanha, chairman of Church communications, said the project was too ambitious. “Though replete with good intentions, the channel was short of professional and trained staff, which affected the quality of the programs. There were a few Muslims and the bulk of the money was spent on satellite uplinking. Cable operators were also not interested in simply broadcasting the religious services.”

“It might have been better to build up after starting on a small scale”, he noted.

ucanews.com tried to contact Father Charles but he declined to comment.

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UCA News

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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