ARY Digital (Urdu: ARY ڈیجیٹل) is a Pakistani pay television network available in Pakistan, the Middle East, North America and Europe. The ARY Group of companies is a Dubai-based holding company founded by a Pakistani businessman, Abdul Razzak Yaqoob (ARY). The network is focused towards the Pakistani diaspora. The channel has an expanding network of channels, each with an independent focus.
|Network||ARY Digital Network|
|Picture format||16:9 576i SDTV|
|Headquarters||Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan|
|Sister channel(s)||ARY News|
|OSN (Middle East and North Africa)||Channel 283|
|Sky (UK & Ireland)||Channel 758|
|Astra 2G (28.2°E)||11112 H 22000 5/6|
|Dish Network (USA)||Channel 677|
|WorldCall Cable||Channel 35|
|E vision (UAE)||Channel 38|
|ABNXcess (Malaysia)||Channel 510|
|PTCL Smart TV||Channel 31|
|My.T (Mauritius)||Channel 180|
|ARY Digital Live||Watch Live|
ARY Digital, formerly known as the Pakistani Channel, was launched in the United Kingdom in December 2000 to cater to the Pakistani community living in the region. It uses Samacom, an uplink provider based in the UAE, as the uplink teleport station.
The channel started off with a format similar to PTV Prime and other South Asian channels where it provided slots for soap operas in general while presenting an hourly slot for news headlines. Although, flaming political talk shows and dramas were the main priority when it came to programming, the network soon was hailed for its news coverage.
In 2002, the ARY Star Gold Quiz Show became the first live show to offer a prize of one kilogram of gold. For the period of its broadcast, participants won over 260 kilograms of gold. In 2005, the network obtained the rights to show Live 8 on its sister music channel, The Musik. The channel also held rights to the Who Wants to be a Millionaire franchise for Pakistan.
On 18 October 2007 most of the ARY news team, covering former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's arrival from exile, were killed by one of two explosions. Pictures of the victims were shown live on the news hour and prayers were observed. Bhutto was later escorted safely to an official government house.
In 2004, ARY Digital divided its broadcasts in such a way, that each continent had different programming at different times, to better facilitate the audience. The Channels were split as follows:
- ARY Digital Asia
- ARY Digital UAE
- ARY Family UK/Europe
- ARY Digital USA
ARY Digital Asia
The Asian feed of the channel is free-to-air, as channels in the South Asia are usually broadcast without encryption. Unlike other feeds, ARY Digital Asia features a wider variety of programmes and shows. Many of which may include foreign programmes including Hollywood and Bollywood movies, Indian TV shows, for example Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi.
ARY Digital UAE
It is a free-to-air channel broadcasting at the Pakistani diaspora in the United Arab Emirates. Its programming is limited to Pakistani-produced shows only.
In 2003, ARY Digital received criticism upon its airing of a prisoner's derogatory comments against the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC-3) and a video showing balded young girls behind bars begging for mercy. The contempt of court proceedings against the officials of the network were withdrawn after the judge accepted unconditional apologies.
- "Teleport". Samacom. Archived from the original on 6 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
- "Case Study: Pakistan and its Media". PakAffairs.com. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008.
- "ARY Group Profile" (PDF). ARY Digital Europe. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
- "ARY Digital Archives". ARY Digital. Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "KARACHI: Contempt proceedings withdrawn against ARY". DAWN Newspaper. Retrieved 12 May 2008.