Samaa TV has been around since 2007 and was one of the earliest players on Pakistan’s broadcast scene when the airwaves were opened up for private ownership in 2002 and independent TV channels allowed to operate. As one of the pioneers of the early years, it resisted temptation to sensationalize news and information like the others did. Indeed, its slogan has remained Sansani Nahi, Sirf Khabrain or No Sensationalism, Only News. It is still mostly recognized as a TV channel that makes an effort to offer relatively more balanced news bulletins. It was, however, in 2012 caught up in controversy after one of its program show host conducted a raid on a couple in a park and confronted them about their ‘morality’. This ended up in the show host being fired and an apology issued by the channel.
One of Pakistan’s latest news 24-hour channels which create quite a buzz on its launch in mid-2018 was GNN – Gourmet News Network. It was the new avatar of CNBC Pakistan, which was previously owned by Zafar Siddiqui, the owner of Samaa TV. CNBC Pakistan was launched in 2005, under a license from CNBC Asia Pacific. It’s ownership then passed to Vision Network Television Limited and in 2015 it was renamed as Jaag TV. Gourmet, a major national food and restaurant chain, purchased Jaag TV for reportedly PKR 1.5 billion (USD107 million) and re-branded it ‘GNN’. For a moment it looked as if GNN would fly as it managed to rope in some of the best-known journalists of the country, including Hamid Mir and Sohail Warraich but could not quite catch people’s imagination. Its major stars soon thereafter bolted back to other channels.
Free to air
Media Companies / Groups
Jaag Broadcasting System
Samaa TV is operated by Jaag Broadcasting Systems (Private) Limited
At the time of incorporation in 2007, Jaag Broadcating Systems (Private) Limited had three shareholders: Zafarul Hameed Siddiqui with 98%, Javed Faruqi 0.1% and Saleem Adil with 0.1%. However, on 13 March 2017 Zafarul Hameed transferred his shares (debentures) to Bilal Siddiqi who now appears to be the main debenture (share) holder with 99.99%. Saleem Adil continues holding 1 share which amounts to 0.00004%.
Each member is accorded one vote and a simple majority of votes carries a decision. In case of a ties, the chairman can exercise a second/decisive vote to break the tie.
Group / Individual Owner
Little information is available in public domain about Saleem Adil. The Jaag documents submitted to SECP show him to be a director and one of the three shareholders when the company was formed in 2007. Even then Saleem Adil held only one of the total 1,002 shares declared upon incorporation of the company.
Affiliated Interests Founder
the chairman of Samaa TV, has a chartered accountancy and business background and has in over the past two decades become a major media player across several countries. He founded Samaa TV in 2007 and continues to serve it as its founding chairman. He is a former Pakistan partner of KPMG, a global network of firms providing audit, tax and advisory services. He ventured into media business in 1995 by establishing a broadcast service Telebiz in Karachi in 1995. Before founding Samaa TV, he co-founded Africa Business News (Pvt) Ltd in 2008, co-founder of CNBC Africa and founder of CNBC Arabia – serving all as chairman. He is also founder of CNBC Pakistan, serving as its chairman. He has been providing strategic oversight to these networks that serve over 70 countries with staff of over 1,000 people. Siddiqi is also the co-founder of Murdoch University in Dubai. He has also served on the board of the International Emmy's as well as the advisory council of the president of Nigeria. He is an Adjunct Professor of Murdoch University. He has a degree in chartered accountancy from the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England & Wales).
Affiliated Interests Ceo
has a business and management background. He has obtained a Master’s degree in business administration from the prestigious Institute of Business Administration in Karachi and worked as a marketing manager for Geo TV for two years starting 2005 and at the same position for Express News starting 2007 and moving on to ARY News as vice president of product development for about two year. In 2010 he joined Samaa TV as director of strategic planning and became chief operating officer in 2012 and continues in this post.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
serves as the director news for Samaa TV. He has worked for years at CNBC Pakistan / Jaag Group, which owns Samaa TV, as director news and programming and is known to deliver good results. He joined as Samaa TV’s director of news in 2013, replacing senior journalist Zahid Hussain. Mallick has media education background linked to London Academy of Radio, Film and Television, London School of Journalism and Greenwich University and has also taught journalism.
Affiliated Interests other important people
a Master’s degree holder in international broadcast journalism, she was appointed vice chairman of Samaa TV by her father and founder and chairman of Samaa TV Zafar Siddiqui in 2016. But this was not before she worked as a presenter and producer on Samaa TV and a string of stints with broadcasters such as BBC, Channel 4, CCTV and ITN. She has experience in broadcast journalism, documentary making, media research and online journalism. She also runs www.cutacut.com, a digital media platform set up by and for the Desi Millenial and aims to “cut through the clutter of content and bring you stories that really matter. “It covers culture, entertainment, politics, gender and money and profiles ordinary people with extraordinary stories, influencers, celebrities and trend setters. It has a stated mission to “disrupt the industry, to challenge boundaries, create a dialogue about issues that have been brushed away and to make a social impact by giving a voice to the people, the issues and the causes that have been overlooked for far too long.”
Revenue (in Mill. $)
USD 13 Million / PKR 1.319 Billion (2015-16)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
USD 1 Million / 1.118 Billion PKR (2015-16)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
The company was sent information request on15.01.2019 through a courier company as well as by email. The company responded through Mr Naveid Siddiqi after the reminder was sent on 04.02.2019 and promised to send the relevant details and information soon. However, the outlet sharing the partial requested information was received on 08.02.2019 through an email. The company does not have online presence. Financial information has been obtained from a report for 2017-18 submitted by the company to the SECP. The amounts have been converted into USD at a rate of PKR104 per USD 1, for June 2016, since the latest audited financial data available with SECP is for the fiscal year 2016.