TV and the Video Age

Pakistan after independence took some seventeen years before entering the video age. It was 26 November 1964, when people of Lahore flocked around a few TV sets displayed in public places to witness the first ever TV transmission in the country. The black and white TV later changed into colour and soon all provincial metropolises had regular TV transmissions. It was the dish antenna and very lately the cable TV network that has taken the TV transmissions almost every location in Pakistan.
The state owned Pakistan Television maintained its monopoly for a long time. The PTV dramas were once the most captivating and artfully directed. Dramas like "Lakhoon main Teen, Uchay Burj Lahoor Dey, Waris, Un Kahi, Taleem e Balghan, Khuda ki Basti,and many more". Taleem-e-Balghan, though aired in the age of B&W, is still remembered by many till date as the theme portrayed in the drama serial even stands witness to present days. One of the latest drams "Alpha Bravo Charlie" was a hit of all times which showed life of the three PMA badge mates joining different units of Pakistan Army and portraying real life challenges.


Scene from PTC dramas: Left-Taleem-e-Balghan, Right - Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

Lately, due to encouragement and very liberal media policy of the government, many new private channels have sprang up and now the people of Pakistan have a wide choice of selection from some 55 TV channels. Some of these include the Indus Vision, ATV, Aaj TV, ARY, Hum, Geo and many more. These TV channels have given new dimension to media, quality and ingenuity both in production of dramas, serials and news.

The addition of Dawn channel provides quality English news/discussion programmes - the only English channel at the moment. Beside Geo News, a number of channels exclusively for news are also on air like the Express News, Waqt and Channel Five.

Traditionally, the general public like plays or soap operas, while lately the talk shows and HardLine type critical one-to-one shows are also picking up popularity. Besides Urdu TV channels, a number of American, European, and Asian TV channels and movies are available to a majority of the population via cable and satellite. Recently the Urdu version of MTV has also been introduced, much to the liking of the youth of Pakistan.


This page was created on 1 January 2005 / 16 September 2009

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