How many of you remember the famous “Shehnaaaaaz” from the drama serial Alpha Bravo Charlie?
Had it not been for our good old antenna and its woes, that scene would never have been written. Let alone remain engraved in audience’s mind even after a decade.
For over 40 years, antenna or dish antenna was the only source of entertainment for the people across Pakistan. In the early days of television, PTV was the only channel which provided daily broadcast and that too for few hours. Now PTV has multiple TV channels plus privately-owned channel called ATV.
With the exponential growth in private channels airing on cable TV and satellite networks, antenna gradually started to lose its ground with more and more people switching to cable television.
According to the statistics based on surveys, Cable TV dominated all the big urban centers in direct comparison with antenna in 2012. Cable TV held around 90% market share in Karachi and Hyderabad, 80% in Lahore, Faisalabad and urban cities of Pakistan, 75% in Gujranwala, Sukkur, Multan and around 60% in Peshawar.
One of the major reason for extinction of antenna is the fact that only a few channels can be accessed through it.
Moreover, picture quality is very much dependent on the signal strength. I am sure many of us remember yelling on top of our lungs to guide the ‘Chotu’ who had gone to fix the antenna.
To top it all of antenna and dish require regular maintenance while cable TV is a one-time investment, unless a hurricane blows of the cables.
Antenna might still be a stronghold in some rural areas. However, looking at the rapid shift of people moving towards modernity and urbanization. It’s only about time that Antenna will become a story of the past.