Television in Pakistan

Television in Pakistan started in 1964 and the first live transmission of Pakistan Television began on November 26, 1964, in Lahore.[1]


Originally a private sector project in 1961 by prominent industrialist Syed Wajjid Ali who signed a joint venture agreement with Nipon Electric Company (NEC), leading Pakistani engineer Ubaidur Rahman was appointed by Wajjid Ali to head the television project. By 1962, after a series of pilot transmission tests, the project was quickly taken over by the Ayub Khan Government in 1963 for the "greater national interest of Pakistan". President Ayub Khan re-appointed Ubaidur Rahman in 1963 under the Ministry of Information to continue with the NEC joint venture collaboration to launch Pakistan Television or PTV. The project began with a tent on the back lot of Radio Pakistan Lahore where a transmission tower and a studio were constructed. On November 26, 1964 the first official television station commenced transmission broadcasts from LAHORE,[1] followed by Dhaka in 1965 (then the capital of East Pakistan). A third centre was established in Rawalpindi-Islamabad in 1965 and the fourth in Karachi in 1966. Later centres in Peshawar and Quetta were established by 1974. Originally broadcast in black and white, PTV began colour transmission in 1976.[2] With this new upgrade in techniques and equipment, the Pakistan Television Academy was founded and opened in 1987 to teach students who wished to work in the medium. As with the other agreement, the government financed most of the funds while the private venture capitalists offered to fund the remainder. Late 1980s morning transmission started on PTV.

In 1990, the then government launched the first semi government TV network of the country by the name of "Peoples Television Network (PTN)under the Peoples TV Network (a wholly owned company of Shalimar Recording Company (which is Shalimar Recording and Broadcasting Company now). PTN, the wholly owned company was merged with Shalimar Recording Company in 1991 and the TV Channel PTN was renamed as Shalimar Television Network (STN). PTN/STN started from Islamabad first and then from Karachi, Lahore and by mid-1990s the network made its way to the whole of the country. STN for the first time in Pakistan started the transmission of CNN International on the terrestrial beam, this was the first project of STN. Soon limited broadcast of BBC World programmings started. In 1990 PTN under an agreement with the a private company (Interflow) started first ever private TV slot of Pakistan, Network Television Marketing (NTM), in this way STN's broadcast became the combination of CNN, NTM and limited broadcasts of BBC World and German DW TV. This successfully continued till 1999. NTM came as a breath of fresh air to the Pakistani viewers due to its fresh and innovative programmings.

PTV Network launched a full-scale satellite broadcasting service in 1991-1992. PTV-2, the first ever satellite channel of Pakistan started in 1992. In 1994, PTV was made part of the satellite beam along with PTV-2. PTV 2 was renamed as PTV World in 1998. PTV-2/World also enjoyed viewership on terrestrial beam. In 1998 PTV in association with a private company (Prime Entertainment Network) started PTV Prime, exclusively for European and later for American viewers. Digital TV satellite broadcasting was launched in 1999. PTV/PTV-1 got its satellite beam (independent of PTV 2/World)in 2001.

NTM went off air in 1999 due to financial losses and with that STN also shut down CNN Intn'l broadcast, limited programmings BBC World and DW TV in 1999. STN was taken over by PTV Network in 1999 and was given new name Channel-3 which started its transmissions on regular basis in 2000. A satellite beam of STN/Channel-3 was also arranged.

In 2000, the then government of Pakistan opened up new ways for the media industry of Pakistan by allowing private TV channels to operate openly even to telecast their own news and current affairs content. Indus Vision (first ever private satellite channel of Pakistan) was launched in 2000. ARY Digital ws launched in 2001, Geo TV in 2002, Aaj TV in 2004 and Hum TV was launched in 2005, and the phenomenon went on.

In 2005 Channel-3 went off air and with that Shalimar Recording and Broadcasting Company renamed its TV channel to ATV (a joint venture of Shalimar Rec. & Broadcast. Co. & SSI) and ATV started its transmission as the only semi-private TV channel of Pakistan being shown on terrestrial as well as satellite beam (Now ATV is working as semi-government TV Channel as SRBC has not extended its agreement with SSI). In 2007, PTV or PTV-1 was given a new name PTV Home and PTV World went off air (PTV World restarted in 2012-13 as the only English language/pure satellite channel of Pakistan). PTV News replaced PTV World in 2007. PTV Home, PTV News (both state owned) and ATV (semi private) channels are shown on terrestrial beams along with the satellite beam. While recently started PTV Sports becomes available on terrestrial beams in place of either PTV Home or PTV News only during the important national and international sports events. PTV Prime went out of PTV's purview in 2005 as an independent Prime TV ; PTV launched an exclusive channel for Americas & Europe in 2006 i.e. PTV Global.

Important TV Networks

National Broadcasters Currently two TV networks, working under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Federal Government are given the status of National Broadcasters.

i) PTV Network( PTV Corporation), The state owned TV Network: Following TV Channels are working under PTV Network

         a) PTV or PTV Home
         b) PTV News
         c) PTV Global
         d) PTV World
         e) PTV Sports
         f) PTV Parliament
         g) PTV National
         h) PTV Bolan
         i) AJK TV

ii) Shalimar Recording and Broadcasting Company: Following TV Channel comes under SRBC


Private TV Channels There are many privately owned television networks working. These are:

  i)  ARY Digital Network:
          a) ARY Digital
          b) ARY QTV
          c) ARY News
          d) ARY Musik
          e) ARY Zindagi
          f) HBO
          g) Nickelodeon
  ii)  Geo TV Network
          a) Geo TV
          b) Geo News
          c) Geo Super
          d) Geo Tez
          e) Geo Kahani
  iii) Hum TV Network
          a) Hum TV
          b) Hum News
          c) Hum Masala
          d) Hum Sitaray
   iv)  Indus TV Network
          a) Indus News
   v)   Aaj TV Network
          a) Aaj Entertainment
          b) Aaj News
          c) Play Entertainment
   vi)  Express TV Network
          a) Express Entertainment
          b) Express News
   vii)  Dunya TV Network
            Dunya News
   viii) Airwaves Media/Interflow
         a) TV One
         b) News One
         c) Waseb TV
    ix)  Leo Communications
         a) Filmazia
         b) Film World
         c) Filmax
         d) LTN Family
         e) Aruj
    x)    Cartoon Network
    xi)   AXN Pakistan
    xii)  Warner Brothers Pakistan
    xiii) Samaa Network
          a) Samaa TV
    xiv) 92 News
    xv)  Channel 24
    xvi) Public TV
    xvii) H now
    xviii) Oxygene
    xix)  Apna Network
          a) Apna Channel
          b) Ab Takk
          c) 8XM
          d) Jalwa
    xx)  Channel-5
    xxi) Channel-7
    xxii) Roze News
    xxiii)Such TV
    xxiv) Koh-e-Noor News
    xxv)  Raavi TV
    xxvi) KTN
          a) KTN Sindhi
          b) KTN News
    xxvii) Sindh TV Network
          a) Sindh TV
          b) Sindh News
    xxviii) Khyber TV Network
          a) AVT Khyber
          b) Khyber News
          c) K-2
     xxix) VSH
     xxx)a) Urdu 1
         b) Pashto 1
     xxxi) Mashriq TV
     xxxii) Afghan TV
     xxxiii) Rohi TV
     xxxiv) Dharti TV
     xxxv) Mehran TV
     xxxvi) Kashish TV
     xxxvii) Prime news hd
     xxxvii) Virtual University of Pakistan
             a) VU-1
             b) VU-2
             c) VU-3
             b) VU-4


In Pakistan only the national broadcasters are allowed to use terrestrial airwaves. Three free to air TV Channels are available on terrestrial beam, these are PTV Home, PTV News and ATV.PTV Sports is available in place of PTV Home or PTV News when an important match/event has to be given live coverage as PTV has the rights for sports coverage at terrestrial airwaves. Transmissions of AJK TV are available on terrestrial network in the northern areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir only. Recently Pakistan has launched Digital terrestrial broadcast in selected areas only in collaboration with China. Through DTMB five TV channels of PTV Network, ATV and two Chinese TV Channels are available via terrestrial beam. Many national and international channels are available via satellite. Some National TV Channels are "pay to watch". Internet Protocol TV Service is provided by Pakistan Telecommunications company limited which is of high quality and is quite popular in the urban centres. Cable TV Networks are the most famous mode of television distribution in Pakistan. No direct to home (DTH) service is available in Pakistan, though efforts are being made in this regard.


Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority regularizes the TV Channels in Pakistan. This authority issues licences for the launch of any TV Channel in Pakistan. Above mentioned national broadcasters, i.e PTV Corp and SRBC do not come under purview of PEMRA.

Concerns about the rise in influx of foreign channels

Many Pakistani television audience and artists have raised concerns about the increase of foreign channels into local television, particularly India and the Middle East. Many local Pakistani journalists have termed it a cultural invasion of the country as well as a threat to business for local artists.[3][4]

See also


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