December 25, 2016
ISLAMABAD – After many months of troubles and tangle with the law, BOL News finally switched to its regular transmission Sunday.
For over two months, the channel ran its test transmission.
The main headline in the news bulletin announced the launch that coincided with the birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
For BOL, it has been a journey made difficult by a string of controversies. The channel ran into problems with the authorities that prevented its launch in 2015.
The trouble began when a New York Times story in May 2015 claimed BOL’s main company Axact was engaged in business of selling fake degrees to students.
This led to the arrest of CEO Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh and several of his managers who languished in jail for 15 months before being set free. The channel’s licenses were also suspended.
It is widely believed BOL was targeted by the authorities and the big leaguers of Pakistani media just when it was about to take off and therefore could never go on air that year.
It is said that BOL Media Group’s rivals, among them Geo, feel threatened by its strong financial muscle and latest technology.
Only this week BOL and Geo traded accusations after news surfaced of an Axact executive being charged by a US court in a fake degree scam.
On the eve of its launch, alarm bells began to ring loud for BOL when PEMRA served a show cause notice to Labbaik (Pvt) Ltd, licensee for BOL News and BOL Entertainment for not getting security clearance of four directors.
However, the channel pressed ahead and launched much to the relief of its staff and well-wishers.
The Patriot, February 9, 2017