By: Rashid Sami

Recently Pakistan television in a press statement claimed revenue losses, attributing them to the September 11 incident. As stated, revenue losses were estimated up to 50 percent on both PTV networks and PTV World.

In order to minimize the crunch, along with a recovery practice, PTV has invited advertisers and sponsors to help revitalize the present state of advertising trend.

Pakistan Television at present has sold five days out of seven on PTV network to private investors. Whereas the almost entire time slot on PTV-2/PTV World is presently being marketed and operated by private investors. PTV marketing department seems to sit idle and contribute the minimum to the present day advertising on the local mini-screen. It also seems aloof in making marketing strategies to support the private sector investors on the local electronic media. But is it only the marketing or local and international political, stragetic calamities that one would attribute to the present state of revenue generation on the local mini-screen as referred to in the PTV press statement – or are there any other reasons as well? The present day television offers a very competitive and open trend to the viewer.

With cable operators providing up to 30 channels, a viewer now has ample time to choose a television entertainment pro- play, in a double rule. With badly done graphic, he appears as a father and a “angry young son” (presumably made possible by a smaller than size wing and get-up). In his fifties or more, he tries to act as a man to his early thirties, who is dissatisfied with the family’s jagirdari set up. Run of the mail concept and script makes it even worse.

Script do not end here. A long list of characters supported by numerious circus-wallas and crowds at jirgas cause confusing situations and frames. Now coming to Saturday on PTV-World, Sachiyan produced and directed by none other then Haroon Rasheed of Pas-e-Aina fame, is a tasteless production. The shallowness of the script confuses the viewer between various situations and scenes. Characters are shot without proper backdrop or lighting.

In one scene a female character without inquiring leaves a sealed bag with Sonia Khan, containing cash and jewellery for Humayun Saeed, who without investigating, offers the bag to his “monitor” to buy a house.

There is not much to be said about the production quality of many television productions as they lack depth in treatment, script and casting. Many investors do not even watch the productions on television and would rather rely on PR-practice to win commercials than quality production.

Coming to another aspect, Media Seminar on “solidarity day” was aired last week. Tahir A Khan hosted a very intensive brain storming session on the current strategic and political situation. Jointly arranged by a well known advertising groups along with a famous bank, the seminar was attended by Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, Imran Khan, Iftikhar Gillani, Murtaza Poya and many other political and social figures.

Combine media continues to produce for the local mini-screen. Gidh, a drama serial aired on Indus Vision is a story of the land-mafia and other dark elements of society who would go beyond limits to achieve their evil guals. Cast includes Shahid (film star), M. Warsi, Asad, Hisam Qazi, Sadia Hussain and Javeria Jaleel. Apas ki baat, a 25-minutes comedy serial directed by Ameer Imam and written by Riazul Haq Siddiqui. Cast includes Behroze Subzwari, Khalid Anum, Azra Siddiqui, Rabia Naureen and Ghalib Kamal.