LAHORE: After Indian TV channels were taken off air by the Pakistan Electronic Media and Regularity Authority (Pemra) on the orders of the Supreme Court, people have no choice left but to watch local entertainment channels.
But the move may turn out to be a blessing for them.
Cable operators told The Express Tribune that they had been receiving phone calls from clients to increase the number of Pakistani entertainment channels, adding that people asked them to show those local TV channels as well which were not in demand earlier. A representative a cable operator association told The Express Tribune that women mostly watched Indian television channels, especially for soap operas, and after the closure of Indian channels, they had switched over to local channels. “It is the end of Ramazan right now and people tend to watch fewer TV shows at this time. It is expected that ratings of the local entertainment channels will improve after Ramazan,” another cable operator believed.
Veteran playwright Munnu Bhai believes that a ban of the Indian TV channels was very much needed. “People say that Indian channels are very popular in Pakistan. I elaborate this ‘popularity’ with an example. If 500 dogs in Lahore die after eating some poisonous herbs, it doesn’t mean dogs like herbs. It only means that dogs are hungry.”
“If Indian dramas are watched here, it doesn’t mean they are very good dramas or people are crazy about it. It only means that people want to watch dramas,” he said.
He believed that Pakistani playwrights should focus on realistic concepts.
Actor and producer Samina Ahmad also believes that young Pakistani playwrights were now focusing on social issues and would capture a larger market easily. She said, “People already say that entertainment channels are becoming popular again as people are bored of watching political talk shows”.
An official of Pemra he said that it was too early to say that rating of local entertainment channels had gone up. “Pemra issues its report of ratings of different television channels on a monthly basis.
The rating might have gone up but we can only officially confirm it after the release of Pemra’s report,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2010.