The media scene in Pakistan has seen a tremendous growth over the last few years. The open media policy adopted by the present regime has resulted in frenzy with every big shot of Pakistan opening up his/her TV or FM channel. Leaving aside the quality of these channels for a while, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s have a look at the impacts of this trend. We only had a single TV channel i.e. PTV till 2001. NTM proved to be a bit of fresh air in the early 90’s, but the conspiracies of PTV bureaucracy ultimately led to its closure. By then most of the Pakistanis especially the urbanites of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad had already switched over to the cable TV. So when Indus TV network started its transmission on 14th August, 2001, it was a new phenomenon in Pakistani media scene. People started taking notice of this channel and its viewership increased many folds within months. Then other business interests jumped into the bandwagon in opening up new TV channels and since then there is no looking back. Now there are more dozens of private TV channels operating in Pakistan.
These TV channels can be divided into five categories. First one has the largest market share and it comprises both News and Entertainment channels of Urdu language. They also have the largest viewership and revenue generation. The second category is of English TV channels. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a new phenomenon and only a single channel, i.e. Dawn News has recently started its transmission. The third category is of hybrid channels mostly catering to the urban youth of Pakistan. They mostly play both desi and foreign musical content interspersed with catchy programs related to the issues of young generation. The fourth category is of channels offering regional language programs. These channels are offering their services in almost all languages of Pakistan whether itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sindhi, Baluchi, Brahvi, Punjabi, Pashto or Kashmiri. They have proved to be a massive hit especially among the rural populace of Pakistan. Last but not the least is the genre of sports channels. Currently only one channel i.e. GEO SUPER is reining this field.
To dissect the pros and cons of Pakistani media in detail, I have started a series of articles that will cover most of the issues related to Pakistani media. The TV industry, of course, will be preferred as itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the strongest medium of expression. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll also try to narrate my views related to the Radio channels of Pakistan. Each of the above mentioned categories of channels will be discussed with maximum possible details. The ever changing attitude of the government and PEMRA in controlling the content of TV channels will also be touched in a subtle yet comprehensive manner. So keep your fingers crossed.