Pakistan Television Corporation

Pakistan Television Corporation
پاكِستان ٹیلی وژن نیٹ ورک
Mass Media
Traded as PTV
Industry Media industry
Genre Entertainment, News
Founded 26 November 1964 (1964-11-26)
Founder Government of Pakistan
Headquarters Islamabad
Regional Headquarters:
Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Muzaffarabad, Skardu, Multan
, Pakistan
Area served
Key people
Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi
Saba Mohsin Raza
Managing Director (MD)
(Board of Governors)
Owner Government of Pakistan
Number of employees
Parent Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
Subsidiaries PTV Awards

Pakistan Television Corporation (Urdu: پاكِستان ٹیلی وژن نیٹ ورک; reporting name: PTV) is a public and commercial broadcasting television network, as well as a mass-media state-owned megacorporation, with headquarters at Islamabad, Pakistan.

Founded on 26 November 1964, by an international-sector firm NEC of Japan under license from the Government of Pakistan,[1] PTV was the first major televised media broadcasting network in Pakistan and currently operates under the government-ownership management of the Government of Pakistan.[1] Although it was originally under private-ownership management, the PTV was integrated under government-ownership in a nationalization programme in 1970, after failing to produce targeted revenue.[1] The PTV is one of the well-expanded broadcasting network infrastructure and media broadcasting divisions in the cities of Pakistan and abroad. For most of the 20th century, the PTV enjoyed a dominant position in media outlets until the start of the 21st century and was one of the two major television networks in the country.

The end of PTV's monopoly in 2000 led to a boom in electronic media in Pakistan, which gained greater political influence in country's political spectrum. As of 2016, the PTV competes with the other private television channels and remains an important asset of Government of Pakistan.


Historical context

The idea of establishing a media and television industry was conceived in late 1956 and created by the privately set up national education commission, with the support of President Ayub Khan in 1960.[1] In 1961, the private sector media mogul and industrialist Syed Wajid Ali launched a television industrial development project, bringing the role of an electrical engineer Ubaidur Rahman of Radio Pakistan's Engineering Division as the project director of the first television station in Lahore.[1] Ali reached a milestone in 1961 after establishing a private television broadcasting company with the cooperation of Nippon Electric Company (NEC) of Japan and Thomas Television International of United Kingdom.[1]

In 1963, a public meeting was chaired by President Ayub Khan; in which the government made decisions about the Pakistan Television stations and the media industry in the country.[1] Since 1963, its headquarters are in Islamabad, near the Cabinet Secretariat. From 1961 to 1962, a television headquarters was established in Lahore and several pilot transmission tests were taken by Rahman's team. Subsequently, many television divisions were established throughout Pakistan by this team, including East-Pakistan.[1]

First-ever broadcast and private ownership

On 26 November 1964, after an introduction by Syed Wajid Ali, the first-ever news broadcast was done which was beamed as a black and white transmission by the PTV. The first programme, formatted by Thomas Television International, telecast amateur programmes with foreign films; the television division in the Punjab Province was established with the help of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Colombo Plan, and the Government of Japan.[1] Aslam Azhar (1932–- 29 Dec 2015) was appointed the first Managing Director of the Pakistan Television in charge of all the staffing requirements at the first PTV Lahore Center. This first Managing Director and executive Aslam Azhar is widely considered to be the "father of Pakistan Television".[2] Private industries commercials were permitted with no fee; initially all the commercials of industrial conglomerates were tax-free with no additional charges.[1]

The PTV remained under the private sector management with more than half of the shares were sold to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a fear that all shares would fall into the hands of government in the name of greater interest of the country.[1] President Ayub Khan appointed Ubaidur Rahman in the Ministry of Information to continue with the NEC joint venture collaboration in launching the PTV.

The project began with a tent on the back lot of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation by Ubaidur Rahman where a transmission tower and a studio were constructed by his team. On 26 November 1964, President Ayub Khan inaugurated the first official television station commencing transmission broadcasts from Lahore, followed by Dacca in 1965 (then the capital of East Pakistan), a third centre was established in Rawalpindi and Islamabad in 1965 and the fourth in Karachi in 1966.[1] On 29 May 1967, a private company was established as Pakistan Television Corporation under the Company Act, 1913, whereas the private sector remained charged with broadcasting on the television.[1]

Nationalization of Pakistan Television

After the Indo-Pakistani war in 1971, the PTV was nationalized and brought in completely under the government-ownership management by then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's government.[1] Communication network expansion was vast by the PTV and government publicly funded its infrastructure expansion all over the country.[1]

Promotion of regional literature, science-fiction miniseries, country music, and romanticizing rural values in drama playwrights were on-aired by the PTV, at the behest of public funding by the Government of Pakistan.[3] The PTV was considered as source of major national integration.[4]

The PTV transmission switched over from its original black and white to color transmission in 1975.[5][6] Regional headquarters of PTV and television centers were established in Peshawar and Quetta in 1976.[3] In 1977–78, the PTV broadcast the live Cricket match between England vs. Pakistan.[7] During this time, the PTV's interview programming series brought many scientists, politicians, sportsmen, actors, musicians, and artists to public fame.[1]

Television programmes

By the 1980s, the transmissions of PTV could be reached over 90% area of Pakistan.[3] In 1980s, the PTV was the sole provider of television, and dominated the electronic media industry.[4] During 1980s, the conservative ideas were promoted on the PTV as part of the government policy, and heavy investments were made on the promotion of education programming series.[4]

During the decades of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, PTV dramas and teleplays were considered as the best in the South Asia. These included Khuda Ki Basti (1969–74), Unkahi (1982), Tanhaiyaan (1985), Aangan Terha, Fifty Fifty (1979–84), Studio Dhai (2-1/2), Studio Ponay Teen (2-3/4), Andehra Ujala (1984), Sona Chandi (1983), Uncle Urfi, Taleem-e-Baalighan, Alif Noon (1981–82), Waaris (1979), Dhoop Kinare (1987), Sunehray Din,Guest House Alpha Bravo Charlie, Ana, Akhri Chatan, Zair, Zabar, Pesh (1974–75) and block buster serials like Dhuwan, Kath Putli, Wafa Ham Nibhaein Gai, Bandhan, Kaghaz Kay Phool, Muqqdas, Bint-e-Adam, Malangi (2006), Sawan, Sheela Bagh, Tinkay, Aisa Bhi Hota Hai, Rasta De Zindagi, Chubhan, Kuch Lamhay, Khuwahesho Kay Sarab, and many others.

In 1990s, the PTV's programming was said initially to have intellectual appeal but succumbed to commercial pressure.[4] In 1992, the composition of PTV's programming was based upon on 56% of entertainment, and only 25% of news and educational programmes. About 54% of national programming was based on Urdu and only 16% accounted for English.[4] In response to challenges by private channels such as STN and NTM as well as Indian channels, the PTV launched transnational transmission in Bangladesh, India, Iran, Gulf States, and the United States in 1992.[4]

State capital revenue

Unlike other state-run corporations, Pakistan Television Corporation was allowed by the Government of Pakistan to raise a sizable amount of private capital to finance the stations. This includes a Rs. 35 per month TV fee charge to all consumers of electricity.[8]

Programming Policy

The broader perspective to start electronic media in the country was to inform and educate the people through wholesome entertainment and to inculcate in them a greater awareness of their own history, heritage, current problems and development as well as knowledge of the world at large.

In fulfillment of its broad and main objectives, PTV's telecast policy concerning matters of national and international interests has always been motivated and guided by the cardinal principles of educating viewers about the values that are vitally important in building a united, integrated and disciplined society. These objectives have successfully been achieved through programs on religion, education, entertainment and culture.

The projection of new, emerging social order is highlighted in PTV's general programming, focusing directly and indirectly on themes like morality, civic or national responsibilities, drive against narcotics, environmental pollution, agricultural reforms etc. through discussions, shows, and through anchorpersons in the transmission.

PTV channels are family-oriented and the salient features of its policy are as follows:


PTV had been received via satellite in South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Selected programming could be seen on a satellite channel named Prime TV (with a partnership with PTV) in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America until 22 April 2006. On 22 April 2006, Pakistan Television Corporation started broadcasting directly to the overseas viewers including the US. This remains true as of January 2016.

PTV operates the following channels:

Former Channels

Administrative divisions of PTV

News division

Pakistan Television News informs its viewers across the country on the latest newsworthy happenings on the national and international levels. During the past few years, there has been rapid expansion in the area and scope of news coverage.

Current affairs

Current affairs programmes have been a regular features of PTV Transmission, ever since its inception. A separate PTV Current Affairs Directorate was established in 1982.

Current affairs programmes, including regional languages, produced by each of the TV Centre are accommodated in regular PTV transmission. The themes of regional language programs mainly revolve around local and provincial matters of current affairs nature. The Current Affairs Division produces programs on special occasions such as live telecast of Armed Forces Parade on Pakistan Day, live telecast of flag hoisting ceremony on Independence Day, Head of State's Address to the Nation, documentaries on important national projects, live telecast of certain sessions of Senate and National Assembly. In the program Open Forum, Federal Ministers/Minister of States are invited to answer the questions through e-mail, on Telephone and by Media/Experts sitting in the various studios of Ptv. This program is live and is very popular amongst viewers.

Sports division

International Relations Division of PTV

International Relations Division of Pakistan Television Corporation participates in the international television festivals/competitions sending best of its PTV programs to them. PTV has won distinguished prizes and commendations at those events.

A large number of PTV programs have been sold for telecast in other countries which resulted in strengthening of the financial condition of PTV. Such companies as Shalimar Recording and Broadcasting Company and Sports Star International Company are the major distributors of PTV programmes.

A lot of PTV plays and documentaries have been provided to foreign countries through government ministries and missions abroad free of charge for the projection of Pakistan and its people.

Dubbing and editing is carried out by PTV International Relations Division. Some selected programs are subtitled in English and Arabic languages for overseas projection especially for Muslim countries. Documentaries from National Geographic Magazine are being televised with Urdu dubbing. A series of animated imported programme "Treasure Island" is being dubbed in Urdu language for telecast. PTV has recently provided the satellite facilities to foreign agencies with regard to Pakistan's nuclear tests and has earned approximately US $400,000 each time.

PTV has procured foreign canned programs on hire/rental basis. PTV procures foreign programs including feature films, cartoons, science fiction, comedy, adventure, classic drama serials/series and public general-interest programs.

PTV Censor Board

PTV Censor Board was formed in 1968 headed by Director Programs Administration. It was separately instituted within PTV on the approval of the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in December 1980 to clear and certify bulk of imported and locally acquired programs with speed and efficiency. PTV Consultant of News/Current Affairs/Presentation presently heads the PTV Censor Board.

PTV Engineering Division

The Engineering Division takes care of the day-to-day operations and maintenance of PTV Centres and Rebroadcast Stations, new projects, Planning & Procurement, as well as Research and Development activities.

It was an engineering feat at the time Pakistan began television transmissions in 1964 at Lahore, long before its neighbors Iran in [1967] and India in [1971]. Over the years, the system has grown into a countrywide network offering two programming channels.

PTV Introduction- a chronology of events

Training academy

Main article: PTV Academy

Established in 1987, Pakistan Television Academy is an apex TV institution in Pakistan, which imparts professional training in disciplines of television broadcast technology. It is headed by a full-time director and assisted by a team of television professionals who are members of the academic faculty.

Till June 1998, over 3100 persons have attended training programmes conducted by PTV Academy. These participants attended training courses in Engineering, Computer, Finance, Administration, News, Current Affairs and Programmes Production. They included visiting participants from other countries including SAARC countries members.

Year 2012 performance

Year 2012 saw a rapid popularity in PTV programs. PTV saw a huge gain in viewership according to TRP( Target rating point company) ratings by providing coverage to 2012 ICC World Twenty20 cricket games and showing the top-rated drama serial on PTV "Talafi".

PTV's New Redesigned Logos

Ubaidur Rahman the first General Manager and originator of PTV commissioned Pakistan's supremo artist Abdur Rahman Chughtai to design a conceptual logo for PTV, this logo was later redesigned with minor modifications by another leading artist Shahzad Nawaz Khan for a more up-to-date look. Recently in the year 2016, PTV's channel logos were redesigned by PTV's Creative Manager (Design) Babur Saghir. By redesigning the logos of these ten channels of PTV his design philosophy was as follows: The harmony in the design of our new logos depicts unity and connectivity. The non-conventional shape represents modernity, innovation and the new age of PTV. PTV engraved on gold symbolizes the last 50 years of our very strong connection with our audience (PTV Golden Anniversary was celebrated in 2014). The diverse colour palette is representative of the diversity of our people. The golden stroke shows dynamism and the transformation of PTV.

Corporate management

The Chairman/CEO is appointed by the Prime Minister and, finally confirmation approved by the President. The Chairman heads the Board of Governors that are appointed by the Government of Pakistan to manage its affairs. As of current, Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi is the current chairman of the PTV.[11]

The Managing Director (MD) is the administrative head of the PTV with executive responsibilities. The appointment of MD comes from the approval from the Government of Pakistan and approval from the Chairman of the PTV.[12]

The early team in 1964 at PTV-Lahore Center

Syed Mohsin Ali was the legendary Drama producer of PTV News, who produced popular and award-winning drama serials including Tanhaian, Ankahi, Aathwaan Samandar, and one of the best serial Jinnah say Quaid on the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Syed Mohsin Ali was also awarded Lifetime Achievement Award and many other PTV Awards. Syed Mohsin Ali was also the teacher of famous film and drama producer Shoaib Mansoor. They both jointly produced the famous drama serial Sunehry Din.

PTV personalities

Some criticism of policy

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Logan, Stephen (2008). "Television in Pakistan". In Indrajit Banerjee. Asian Communication Handbook, 2008 (google books). New, York, United States (United Nations Secretariat): UNESCO. Asian Media Information and Communication Centre. pp. 377–400. ISBN 978-981-4136-10-5. Retrieved 5 June 2012. Retrieved 13 Jan 2016.
  2., "Father of PTV Aslam Azhar passes away at 83", Retrieved 17 Jan 2016
  3. 1 2 3 Qadeer, Mohammad. "Development and Countryside". Pakistan - Social and Cultural Transformations in a Muslim Nation (google books). Routledge, Qadeer. ISBN 9781134186174. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Thomas, Amos Owen. Imagi-Nations and Borderless Television: Media, Culture and Politics Across Asia. SAGE, Thomas. ISBN 9780761933960. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  5. History of Pakistan Television Network, Retrieved 13 Jan 2016
  6. Gunaratne, ed. by Shelton A. (2000). Handbook of the media in Asia (1. Aufl. ed.). New Delhi [u.a.]: Sage, Gunaratne. p. 62. ISBN 0761994270.
  7. Samiuddin, Osman. The Unquiet Ones: A History of Pakistan Cricket. HarperCollins Publishers India. ISBN 9789350298022.
  8. AsiaMedia :: PAKISTAN: PTV to earn Rupees 4 billion through license fees: New collection system
  9., Retrieved 17 Jan 2016
  10. 1 2, Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari, first General Manager of Pakistan Television-Karachi Center on Dawn newspaper, Published 31 Oct 2010, Retrieved 5 May 2016
  11. "Atta-ul Haq Qasmi assumes charge as Chairman PTV". Pakistan Today. Pakistan Today. 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  12. "PTV's Official Web Portal". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  13., Dawn, Karachi newspaper article, published 5 July 2011, Retrieved 3 March 2016
  14. Language Policy in Pakistan, Retrieved 3 March 2016
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