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Home Entertainment Ary Digital

Ary Digital



Launched:     2000
Network:     ARY Digital Network
Owned by:     ARY Group
Sister channel(s):     ARY News, ARY Musik, ARY Qtv, ARY Zauq

ARY Digital, a subsidiary of the ARY Group, is a popular Pakistani television network available in Pakistan, the Middle East, North America and Europe. The ARY Group of companies is a Dubai-based holding company founded by a Pakistani businessman, Abdul Razzak Yaqoob (ARY). The network caters to the needs of South Asians, particularly the Pakistani diaspora. The channel is considered to be a pioneer in Pakistani media and broadcasting industry, and has an expanding network of channels, each with an independent focus.

ARY Digital, formerly known as the Pakistani Channel, was launched in the United Kingdom in December 2000 to cater to the growing demands of South Asian entertainment in the region. Within a short span of three years, the unique proposition and the content of the channel resulted in massive popularity and in order to enable greater expansion and broadcast into other countries, the operations were moved to Dubai Media City.[citation needed] It uses Samacom, a monopolising uplink provider based in the UAE, as the uplink teleport station.

The channel started off with a format more closely resembling that of PTV Prime and other Indian channels where it provided slots for soaps in general while presenting an hourly slot for news headlines. Although, flaming political talk shows and dramas were the main priority when it came to programming, the network soon was hailed for its news coverage.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera was enjoying its fifteen minutes of fame that rooted its name prominently in the events folding after the 9/11 attacks but when the war on terror came to neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistan had no decent coverage and the likes of PTV hired people without prior knowledge of journalism to be investigative journalists. There was a limit as to how much PTV could show on their network. Soon enough, when ARY Digital started broadcasting news covering the Afghan war, ARY Digital was hailed for their efforts.

This one-screen TV business grew into a network of channels beaming into over 130 countries, but have not yet launched its transmissions in Australian continent. The network however, at present, undoubtedly stands as one of the fastest growing Asian television networks in the world.

The network was successful in acquiring a license for DTH operations in Pakistan, considered a milestone for media in the ever-growing broadcast television market of Pakistan. Since then the network started to commit itself to the continuous development of Pakistan’s media market. The network now boasts a potential market size of more than 20 million households.

The ARY Group, owners of the network, announced the launch of the ARY Digital Tower, one of the tallest media buildings in the UAE. The project is to stand a mammoth 44 to 45-storey broadcasting tower that will house the studios and corporate-head office of all the network’s operations. Construction of the tower, overseen by esteemed Adnan Z. Saffarini of Dimensions Engineering Consultants, is expected to end by 2008.

ARY pioneered and set standards in television programming in Pakistan and all over the world. In 2002, The ARY Star Gold Quiz Show set new standards in the game-show broadcast history being the first live show ever which was offering a hefty prize of one kilogram of gold. For the period of its transmission, participants won over 260 kilograms of gold, undoubtedly the highest stakes of any game-show in the history of South Asian Television.[4] Partly due to the ban on Indian channels around the time, it has helped the channel grow popular by the day.[citation needed] The network in 2005 obtained the rights to show Live 8 on its sister music channel, The Musik. The channel also held rights to the Who Wants to be a Millionaire franchise for Pakistan.
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As most of the network's programming is acquired through private production houses from within Pakistan and some based in UAE, where people aren't that much in verse with the latest trends in distribution and quality, the network began to be criticized. This led the network to segment its programming into specialized channels whereby, for instance, having a dedicated channel for news coverage where they excelled leaving behind areas that needed dire attention on the flagship channel.[citation needed]

At present, the network has four different coverage areas around the world: ARY Digital Asia, ARY Digital Middle East, ARY Digital UK/Europe and ARY Digital USA beamed at from the UAE. It has acquired and set up 1,200 premium-rate lines for its call centres to facilitate users.

Although, its operations involve the mission for the betterment of the image of Pakistanis both resident and living abroad, the network has tagged along regional events programming from neighbour India to boost its ratings. In January 2005, the annual Bollywood Music Awards held in Dubai were premiered on the networks flagship channel ARY Digital where celebrities from both the countries managed to gather under one roof. The awards sparked a new interest in the India-Pakistan affairs regarding media policies and ushered a new era of friendly cross-industry work.

To further hook users to the box, the network acquired exclusive rights to showcase all International Cricket Council cricket tournaments in the European markets. Another deal with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) led the network into rightful broadcast of all PCB matches from the year 2003 to 2008.

On October 18, 2007 most of the ARY news team, covering former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's arrival from exile, were killed by one of two explosions. Pictures of the victims were shown live on the news hour and prayers were observed. Bhutto was later escorted safely to an official government house.
Last Updated on Sunday, 02 June 2013 15:39  

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