PTV Home: Pakistan’s First-Ever TV Channel

ptv_home_channel, ptvAll You Need to Know About PTV Home: Pakistan’s First TV Channel

Pakistan TeleVision [PTV], is the oldest TV channel from Pakistan, and about two decades ago, was the only channel operating in the country. Ptv home went on air for the first time on the 26th of November 1964 from Lahore, then known as PTV only, and has been airing its transmission ever-since.

Ptv home would surely have been very popular at the time it was launched because before that time period, there was no concept of a television or TV channels in Pakistan.

At the time of being launched, Ptv home aired its transmission in black & white and then years later, transformed into color television.

Ever-Young Classics Produced by PTV Home

Classical ptv home dramas are popular for their quality to this day. There are many such dramas which are watched even today because of the interest that they generated and the extent to which they got famous in the audiences. They include the following:

  • Waris
  • Tanhaiyyan
  • Dhoop Kinaray
  • Undhera Ujala
  • Alif Noon
  • Shama
  • Ankahi
The Quality of Pakistani Dramas and The Anticipation to Watch Them

These dramas were so popular that even Pakistan’s arch-enemy India chose to show them on their television but without taking any permission from Pakistan. One thing that came out of it was that in spite of the hatred which the Indian TV channels spewed to their people about Pakistan, they could not help admire the quality of Pakistani dramas! True dat!

One big indicator of the success of Ptv home’s dramas which is often narrated is the fact that all public roads in many cities got empty at around 7:30~8: 00 PM as everyone wanted to watch the dramas being aired by ptv home at that time.

My teacher once told me of an incident in which an imam masjid conducted prayers fifteen to twenty minutes ahead of time so that he could conveniently watch waris, a popular serial drama on ptv home!

It is even said that at the time when television was a luxury and affordable by only a select few households, many people used to call up their “TV-owning-mates” and listen to ptv home dramas over the telephone! How amazing is that, was it really so encapsulating to watch ptv dramas then….??

Almost all of the classic ptv dramas are now available online for free and also in the form of DVDs that can be bought online over the World Wide Web to get a taste of what the famous PYV drams were actually like.

PTV Home Celebrating Its Progress and Achievements

ptv_homePTV has also conducted several programs to celebrate its landmark progress in the entertainment industry ever since it came into being in Pakistan. It has arranged functions for its first ever completed year, then its silver jubilee when it reached 25 years of age as an organization. Last year in 2014 it celebrated its golden jubilee, celebrating 50 full years of entertaining and informing audiences in the country.

Multiple PTV home actors were invited to be part of the program and to celebrate everything together. Many of them were awarded lifetime achievement awards of any specific award for excellent performance in a certain role on ptv home.

PTV Home in The Nineties Decade: The Golden Times

Starting from the nineties, PTV expanded into a number of channels which now constitute the PTV family while the original channel has since been named as PTV HOME. The list of channels of the PTV family are as follows:

  • PTV HOME
  • PTV News
  • PTV Sports
  • PTV World
  • PTV Global
  • PTV Bolan
  • PTV National
  • AJK TV

Exponential Drop in Quality Overtime

Unfortunately overtime Ptv home became very boring for the next generation to watch. There were very few programs that very really interesting and appealed to the younger blood. Resultantly, they always felt bored from what the sick producers thought would please the audiences! This was because there was hardly any accurate guess on the part of the producers in being able to ascertain the kind of program that the viewers wanted. Therefore, there was a big gap between what was expected by the viewership and what was shown to them on the one and only entertainment cum news channel of Pakistan!

There were two outcomes of this boring situation for the masses, one was positive while the other one was not so good.

NTM and STN: Pakistan’s First Privately Owned Channel

One was the launch of National Television marketing [NTM] in collaboration with Shalimar Television Network [STN]. This was the first privately owned television channel ever to commence its transmission in the country.

NTM aired relatively attractive and interesting programs for the populace, especially for the educated upper and middle class in Pakistan. However, its coverage was limited to the big cities of Pakistan initially, but extended later on to include other cities as well.

Zia-ul-Haq, India and the Two-Nation Theory

Another outcome of viewers getting disenchanted and bored with ptv home was the trend of satellite dish antennas in Pakistan. This was made even more easier during the era of Zia-ul-Haq as custom duties were waived over the import of such equipment. This led to the trend of a large number of Indian TV channels being watched by viewers in Pakistan. In turn, it resulted into a lot of uncivilized and unethical norms taking shape in the country as a lot many number of viewers became big fans of Indian culture and celebrities and tried to imitate them.

This had the impact of deteriorating the Pakistani society ethically and morally, particularly the youth of the country. There were many conspiracy surrounding this notion as some believed it was a tactic by India to destroy the culture of Pakistan by importing their very own culture into it.

Many educated people believed that the explosion of Indian channels into Pakistan was in direct conflict with the two-nation theory which led to the creation of Pakistan in the first place. This is because the two-nation theory propagated that the culture of the two nations were too far apart for them to be able to co-exist!

The Infamous PTV Home Khabarnama

Ptv home had a thirty [30] minute long news report of national and international news for the day known as khabarnama. The khabarnama was famous for its pro-government reporting, informing viewers about a number of projects which were completed and inaugurated for the welfare of the pubic on a daily basis! Listening to the khabarnama aired by ptv home in the decade of the ‘90s would have given you the most sweetest picture of affairs in Pakistan. You would have had felt that not a needle was out of its place in the country!

When in actuality however, the country was rusting from rampant corruption, especially at the highest echelons of power, i.e. at the level of prime-ministership! Ptv home’s khabarnama was therefore a very biased account of the real picture of Pakistan.

In addition to this, the khabarnma was very punctual in being aired and would be aired at exactly 09: 00 PM Paksitan Standard Time, no matter what. This was in contrast to the channel’s trend of showing a huge number of adverts when it came to entertainment programs. Many a times, people got sick with the high number of ads shown during dramas for instance and expressed sarcastically how ptv showed entertainment drams in the middle of advertisements instead of the other way round! So nothing could be aired when it was time for the khabarnama, everything would be sacrificed for its sake!

The popular audio ran by the channel if any program was running till 9 PM at night was, iss prigram ka baqqiyya hiss dekjheay khabarnamay kay baad….

PTV Home’s Misadventure With PTV-2

Taking the lead from numerous other channels across the border, Ptv home also mis-thought of increasing the channel strength in Pakistan to greater than one in the form of Ptv-2!

Ptv home focused the programs of Ptv-2 on Allama Iqbal Open University Courses [AIOU], on similar lines as the Virtual University of Pakistan today.

Then there were other programs such as teaching laymen how to sew, programs on agricultural related activities, on performing household tasks more efficiently, so on and so forth.

The quality of the programs aired by ptv home on Ptv-2 was so humorously simple and pathetic that it soon became a laughing stock in the country! Not only in the country but across the border in India as well wherever its booster’s signals reached.

One of the most popular TV channels of India, Zee TV, made a popular parody of ptv home’s Ptv-2 “yeh tractor hai, iskay chaar paiyyay hain”….and….Aaeay aapko soee mein dhaga daalnay sikhaein”….

Political Interference in the State Run PTV Home

PTV was and still is a state-run television and hence often labelled as the mouthpiece of the government of the time. The channel developed a reputation of claiming “all-is-good” in favor of the government, particularly in the ‘90s decade and before.

There was never any news against the corrupt government and their officials of the time and could possibly never be! Any anchor or newscaster who dared to speak against the government or army could be taken off air and dealt with very severely. So the question of impartial reporting in matters pertaining to the government went out of the window! Hence ptv home was considered to be an extremely biased channel in favor of the government. It was next-to-impossible for the citizens of Pakistan to get to know the truth from Ptv home as the channel was scrutinized heavily by the government and the military establishment and freedom of speech was therefore an alien concept!

Ptv Home and the Era of Cable Television

It was then that a need was felt for privately owned news channels in the country who could display a much clearer and accurate picture of what really is going on in Pakistan! The people in the country wanted to hear from a non-governmental channel about the state of affairs in the country. This was so that they could believe what was being told to them through their television screens at home.

Therefore, a media revolution in the form of cable television is what Pakistan witnessed, which started from the late nineties. One by one more and more news channels started applying for licenses from the government to air their transmissions in Pakistan. As a result of this, the whole scenario of TV channels changed in Pakistan.

Private TV Channels Snatch the Lead from PTV Home

In this new media order in the country, PTV was no longer the one and only channel, acting like a monopolist! No more did it enjoy complete control of the airwaves in the country and private channels quickly turned the tables on Ptv home, grabbing the lead away from Ptv home!

They offered a very high quality of entertainment programs as well as news from and around Pakistan as compared to ptv home. They showed live images of important events as they occurred live on their channels, a norm which was unknown to Pakistani audiences before as it was hardly ever shown on ptv home. Therefore, this created a lot of interest and attraction for these channels for Pakistanis. The hype for these channels at the time was so much that most of them were glued to their screens ever now and then! This was because the transmission of these privately run channels was a big change way from the boring, sick and outdated transmission of ptv home!

Also, their staff was much better trained in the technical affairs of running the channel. Even their equipment, was all new and much more advanced than their government-run counterpart. On top of that, they offered very attractive salary packages to their workforce and hence the employees were motivated to give in a one hundred percent in their professional duties.

Also, this created a lot of jobs in the country and many people found a good stream of income working with any one of these newly-launched TV channels.

Very importantly, there was a whole lot of criticism on the government as well as the army, something which was considered to be taboo on ptv home. In contrast, this became a norm on the private TV channels of Pakistan. This criticism was unthinkable over ptv home and is often still the case with the channel!

Ptv home can fairly be compared with Doordarshan [DD-1], because both these channels and their associated channels such as PTV News and DD-2 et cetera, are run by the government in either country respectively. After the media revolution in both India and Pakistan however, the viewership of ptv home as well as doordarshan has dropped immensely. Like they say, ab tou ptv home koi dekhta bhee nahin

News Reporting: Privately vs Publicly Owned TV Channels

To counter the storm of news channels in Pakistan in contrast to the monopoly of ptv home was a big challenge to the TV channel. This is because the channel could no longer enjoy its status of being the only TV channel and hence had to put in a whole lot of hard work if it were to survive the cut-throat competition in the industry. Therefore, to counter the competition, ptv home created a separate news channel for news called PTV NEWS.

One thing about the private channels in Pakistan however is the irresponsibility which is often showed in terms of reporting about most recent events, better known as breaking news. It has been witnessed that the private TV channels race with each other in being the first ones to break the most recent news about an event of interest such as election results, reporting about a tragic events, associating a statement with an important personality, so on and so forth.

It has been claimed however that PTV News does not follow that trend, as against the norm prevalent in the news industry. Instead, it chooses to air information about an event only when it has been confirmed by its sources as accurate. Only then does it disclose any such “on demand” information to its viewers. This principle of the channel has been acknowledged even by private TV channels who claim that if any news item airs on PTV, then it acts as the benchmark for the said news to be tagged as true beyond any doubt.

For the same reason, the tagline of PTV News runs like…..such zimaydaari kay saath….

ptv_sportsPTV Home Launches a Dedicated Sports Channel

PTV Sports was another addition to the list of TV channels owned and operated by ptv home. Ptv Sports airs multiple programs relating to sports in and outside of Pakistan. Ptv Sports has regularly covered all the Olympics ever since its inception. The quality of anchors employed by the channel to host its sports programs is a subject of separate debate however. The most recent coverage of the sports channel is that of the cricket series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in May-2015 which was won by Pakistan by two-nil [2-0].

PTV Launches Its Website to Maintain Presence over the World Wide Web

Ptv home also initiated its website home.ptv.com.pk to maintain its presence over the internet and has a number of programs uploaded onto it for views to watch.

In addition to that, live streaming of ptv home transmission is also available over its website, making ptv home available in any part of the world with internet access.

The channel also maintains a Facebook page to keep audiences engaged with about news and interesting programs of ptv home.

MD PTV Home Accused of Moral Misconduct by PTV Home Anchor Ayesha Sana

Ptv was in the news for all the wrong reasons in the year 2012, when one of its popular anchor Ayesha Sana accused its Managing Director [MD] Yousuf Baig Mirza of marrying her and then ditching her!

The actress turned anchor who hosted a morning show titled Meena Bazar over ptv home claimed that Yousuf Baig Mirza married her and even conceived a child from her but kept the public in dark about his marital relationship with her.

She made a detailed press conference in front of a large number of journalists about her stance on the matter, showing her nikah nama with Yousuf to the media personnel present. Ayesha claimed that she and Yousuf both had a secret second marriage and decide not to reveal it to anyone until the “time was right”. She further claimed that initially their affairs went well after the marriage but then trouble started later on.

According to Ayesha Sana, the child they had was named Muhammad Mustafa Mirza.

In addition to that, she claimed that the first wife and children of Yousuf are harassing her, sending her abusive text messages ad trying to intimidate her.

She also narrated how MD ptv home Yousuf had walked away from claiming her as her second wife and therefore his son as well. Ayesha showed to the press documents of identity issued by NADRA PAKISTAN, confirming the child to be a son of Ayesha and Yousuf.

Furthermore, she claimed that MD ptv home Yousuf had divorced his first wife but is still living with her illegally, showing a copy of the divorced deed between the two.

Ayesha also created a Facebook page about her issue which is still running. On this page, videos of her press conferences as well as documentary proof has been uploaded.

The matter between Ayesha and MD ptv home Yousuf Baig Mirza, is unresolved to-date.

Attack on PTV Headquarters in Islamabad

Ptv home was all over the news once again when its headquarters in Islamabad was attacked. The attack occurred while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek [PAT] were giving a dharna to protest against the rigging in May 2013 General Elections.

As part of their protests for several days, the supporters of Awami Tehreek led by Tahir ul Qadri decided to march towards the Parliament House. That is when the attack was witnessed on PTV home headquarters as it is situated near to the Parliament House building. As a result of the attack, the transmission of ptv home was interrupted.

There are many versions of what actually happened but the government claimed that it was supporters of PAT and PTI who attacked the PTV HQ. Footage was shown on private television channels of people entering the HQ and destroying public property there. Also, they were seen entering the cafeteria of the building and eating food for free from there.

On their part, PAT and PTI claimed that NONE of their supporters entered the building. They said that the attack was pre-planned and was conducted by goons of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League while the blame was put on them. The reason for the attack on PTV they said, was to give their peaceful protest a bad name and to force them to quit their dharna right-away.

It was also reported in the press that even if an attack of this magnitude does occur on a television station, it is not possible for the transmission to be interrupted like that. Intervening to stop the transmission is a very technical process and cannot be accomplished by the kind of people who were inside of the ptv home building at the time. This info suggested that there was something fishy and that there was inside-involvement in the attack. It looked like it was all a setup staged by the government to blame PTI and PAT in a false flag attack.

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Syed Owais Ali Zaidy

Syed debuted his career in online writing around five years ago on upwork and has been writing ever since. Other than work, he likes to keep pets, workout at the gym, and follow current affairs.