Revival of national sports through PTV Sports is possible

Streets are empty—no traffic as schools and colleges are closed though this day is not Sunday or official holiday (remember Sunday was holiday in Pakistan before Islamisation was introduced in late 70s). Anybody whosoever could access to old-fashioned black and white tube-screened television is sitting in front of television set and those who had only radios in their homes are pushing their ears into radio speakers— Yes this is Pakistan of 70s and event is Live Broadcast of any of matches of boxing championship of “Catch me if you can” famed late Muhammad Ali (born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr). Or this scene can be a hockey match being broadcasted live from Buenos Aires or any of world city where Pakistan hockey team is playing—- These scenes are from era of 70s— a golden age of Pakistan Television Corporation referring to promotion of sports in Pakistan. For me this era ended forever and TV screen is now bought only by Cricket— Cricket—Corporate Sector and Corporate Sector. Who cares about Kabadi or Hockey today? There is no huge money involved in these sports (Squash, Kabbadi, Tent Pegging, tug of war and Hockey). So who cares about such sports which were icons of your television screen. By the way, hockey is National Game of Pakistan. Will PTV be a real state run television channel to promote such sports in Pakistan? Answer is May be—

According to some news items published in national newspapers, the leadership of Ministry of Information and PTV has decided to initiate new programming on PTV Sports that would focus on mainstream sports – cricket, tennis, football, Hockey and Squash but would also encourage sense of fitness, nutrition among youth and would give place to rural sports including Kabbadi and Tent Pegging to television screen like Doordharshan of Indian state run television does.

In 70s, there was no separate channel for sports on PTV as PTV Sports was launched on 14 January 2012. I believe PTV Sports did not play a pivotal role for telecasting and promoting national sports and did not represent rural Pakistan. PTV Sports being a commercial channel has only one orientation while broadcasting and this orientation is easy to follow—-get sponsorship for popular sports like cricket. Is this a role of state run television in any country? I believe –not at all. Since state run television channels are sponsored by states therefore they are bond to promote national sports instead of concentrating only on sports which are popular and viable financially and attract advertisements.

Recently, Secretary Information Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera hosted a Gala dinner in federal capital to launch PTV Sports New Programmes. This event, according to Secretary Sukhera would give new dimensions to programming of PTV Sports. There is no doubt that State Minister Maryam Aurangzeb, MD PTV and Federal Secretary Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera and DMD Zahoor Barlas are working hard to give a new face to PTV for placing PTV among ever increasing competition in broadcasting arena of Pakistan.



We hope PTV Sports would promote and broadcast national sports under new leadership and would attract a common Pakistani to tune to PTV Sports in remote villages where old age people have no interest in Cricket but they would love to watch sports of their tradition— Tent pegging, tug of war, Kabadi and free style wrestling.


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