I, Anjum Zia, hereby declare that the matter printed in this thesis is my original work and has been carried out under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Mughees-ud-Din, Director Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore. To the best of my knowledge, this thesis does not contain any material that has been submitted for the award of any other degree in any other university, neither does this thesis contain any material published or written previously by any other person, except in the text for which due references are given. Anjum Zia.
It is hereby certified that the thesis entitled “Effects of Cable Television on Women in Pakistan: A Comparative Study of Heavy and Light Viewers in Lahore” is based on original work carried out by Anjum Zia and that has not been previously presented for the higher degree. Anjum Zia has done her work under my direct supervision. She has fulfilled all the requirements and is qualified to submit the accompanying thesis according to the prescribed format for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mass Communication. Professor Dr. Mughees-ud-Din Supervisor.
I was fortunate to have worthy Dr Mughees-ud-Din, Director, Institute of Communication Studies, University of Punjab, Lahore, as my supervisor. Dr Mughees is known the world over for his enriched knowledge of the subject that had inculcated in me a constant, forbearing and perfect guidance. Simply speaking this study has only been completed owing to his guidance based on his global exposure to the mass communication studies. Had he not been there, I may not have even a slightest idea of what a research for PhD is about. I am greatly indebted to you sir for guiding me through.
I profoundly thank Prof Dr Bushra Mateen, Vice-chancellor, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, the light under which I dared to think of conducting the research, and struggled to complete it. Her valuable help and gracious cooperation instilled in me the spirit to fight the odds that were numerous. I humbly thank you madam for affording an opportunity to aspire for the highest academic degree through this study. I am also extremely grateful to Miss Shaista Vine, Registrar LCWU, for her patronage and affection that always serve as a shelter for me. Prof. Dr Kousar J. Cheema, Director, Research and Ph. D, LCWU extend an endless help, which I took as much as I could without fear of any reluctance. I am also grateful to Dr. Farhat Saleemi, Dean of Management Sciences and Mrs. Riffat Saqlain, Dean of Social Sciences, LCWU, for their support and encouragement. I acknowledge Dr Muhammad Anwer, former Chairman, Department of Sociology, University of the Punjab, Lahore for his advice, constructive comments and support. His kind involvement gave me the knowledge that will continue to benefit me all my life. I thank him for the kindness towards me.
I am also obliged and deeply indebted to senior journalist Intikhab Hanif (My MA. Fellow) for sparing much of his valuable time for me. His bright ideas based on his visits to media houses and schools of journalism in the USA and Japan, and his rich experience proved an invaluable asset for shaping up my mind and completing this research. His biggest support came at the time of writing this thesis, and the hours of editing are endless. I am grateful to him for his kindness. ii Those who supported me are numerous and I cannot mention them here for constraints of space.
But it would be an injustice to miss Prof. Shahid Habib, renowned editor and reviewer of books and films, Ahmed Nadeem, (a family friend), Dr. Syed Abdul Siraj, Chairman, Department of Mass Communication, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, Idrees Mohammad, Naib Nazam, Lahore, Farooq Ahmed (My M. Phil fellow), Sara Ali Khan, lecturer, IBIT, PU, the young girls who worked as interviewers (Fatima, Sharif, Dur e Ajum, Sonia Saleem, Mariam Pervaiz , Nadia and Rabia Khan), Waleed Saqib, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Mehnaz (Department of Statistics, LCWU), my colleagues at Department of Mass Communication, LCWU, Manzar, Aftab and Shahid, LCWU, Mohammad Shafiq, daily ‘The News’ Khuram and Ibrar from PEMRA etc. Lastly, I am also thankful to my mother in law, Mazhar, my brother in law and Ayesha, sister in law for the love and support at home which helped me to concentrate on my work. I warmly thank my mother, Shams, my brother, Aisha, my sister, Hamza, my nephew, Sehrish, my niece, Shuja, my cousin. The words would be short in their meanings to explain the discomfort caused to my husband Munzir Elahi as well as the emotional pain which both my children Zain and Zeerak went through during the course of this study.
I deeply regret however without their support this research would not be what it is now. My extreme thanks for their unflinching support. Anjum Zia iii ABSTRACT This study investigates the “effects of cable television on the life patterns of women in Lahore, Pakistan” through survey using interviews’ schedule as a tool of data collection. It targeted 432 women aged 18-40 years and viewing cable television for a minimum two years. The study recorded the respondent’s consumption patterns, level of viewing, preferred channels and programs, favorite watching time, control over remote and estrictions on viewing. It crossed checked the above factors with the level of viewing alongwith demographic characteristics of the respondents. The major hypothesis studied was “greater the exposure to cable television greater the impact on the lives of women. ” The sub-hypothesis included ‘heavy viewers have greater effect on their activities, family and social interaction patterns, cultural practices, domestic and personal expenditure, and they are more influenced by the television characters especially depicting western and urban Indian women than the moderate and light viewers.
The data was analyzed through univariate and bivariate statistical procedures and the results are presented in two categories: i. e. general and major findings of hypothesis testing. The general findings revealed that the majority of respondents were aged 31 to 40 years, belonged to the middle and upper middle class, were graduates but unemployed, and were heavy viewers. Majority respondents had cable connection for the last two years, indicating increasing popularity of cable television in Lahore, also making it the main source of entertainment. There is no link between demographic characteristics and consumption patterns.
However, the respondents complained that men had more rights to watch cable television than women. The statistical test chi-square was applied for testing the hypothesis, confirming that ‘greater the exposure to cable television greater the effect on the lives of women’. It confirmed that heavy viewing affected household and other activities of the women like newspaper reading, going to cinema, the meals cooking and serving schedule, their domestic or personal expenditure and interaction with friends or and relatives. They were prone to accepting the role, culture and lifestyle of western and Indian women watched on the cable channels.
The apprehensions of media communication, as well as evidence for its effects, are as old as the history of the subject itself. People have always wondered how media messages are affecting them by bringing about an imperceptible change in their culture, values and behavioural patterns. They have always been concerned for the negative influence of a particular message or message system and have been curious about the potential prosocial effects of others.
Wimmer (1993) has mentioned that the concern over the social impact of mediated messages was evident as far back as the 1920s when many critics charged that the motion pictures had a negative influence on children. The study of the anti-social effects of viewing television and motion picture is one of the intensely researched areas of mass media. The impact of pro-social content is a newer area and grew out of recognition that the same principles underlining the learning of anti-social activities ought to apply to more positive behaviour. Keeping in view the above-cited concern, this study analyses the “Effects of cable television in Pakistan. It is a comprehensive study of effects on women in Lahore, Pakistan and provides results by comparing life patterns of heavy, moderate and light viewers. In 2003, this researcher had conducted an M. Phil study on cable television titled “Cable Television Network in Pakistan: Introduction, Development, Prospects and Dilemmas. ” The outcome of the study (M. Phil) has now been used in this research, leading to the effects of cable television. Zia (2003) quotes “In Pakistan, cable television network was initiated in Karachi in early 1980s and by 1998 was introduced in almost all the big cities of the country but functioned without rules and regulations. The year 2000 witnessed a mushroom growth of cable television network all over Pakistan after the government legalized cable television network”.
According to Aziz (2003) in 2002 almost four million households were enjoying its services in the country. Cable television viewership is no more restricted to the upper-middle class only; with the availability of low-priced television and cable connection, it has become a common household facility for the lower class as well. Viewers have access to a variety of channels from local to foreign, which provide them an opportunity to watch all types of programmes. Zia (2003) quotes, “The reasons for this rapid growth of cable television 2 included easy access, low cost, access to satellite channels and a huge television viewership interested in entertainment only”.
According to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) regional office, Punjab, the subscription of cable television in Lahore has increased from 0. 2 million in 2003 to 0. 35 million in 2006. Cable television subscription to 0. 35 million households in Lahore increases the chances of its effect/influence on the viewers as findings of a pilot study with 1200 sample size, conducted by the researcher showed that majority of them (60 percent) are spending 2-3 hours daily to watch cable television. 1. 1 Statement of Problem Many research studies have been conducted to observe the impact of television on viewers, particularly on their behaviour (Bukhari. , 2002; Malik, M. , 2001; Naseem, A. 2001).
Findings of previous research had made the researcher to conclude that television does have some direct or indirect effects on viewers but no study has been carried out in Lahore, Pakistan, regarding effects of cable television prior to this study. With the popularity of foreign television channels, fears have been expressed that lifestyles of viewers may be affected. As Schiller (1976) confirms ‘importing programmes is importing lifestyles and exposure to foreign television programmes may transform the values of youth. ’ Concerns over the impact/effects of media always reinforce whenever a new communication technology is introduced in the society because technology always has positive or negative impact.
The question arises that cable television, as a communication technology, is quite affordable, available to majority for 24 hours, enhances the choice and provides variety of channels and programmes that are foreign and local may have effects. Schiller (1976) defines cultural imperialism as a process of imposition of cultural institutions and values of less developed nations and dependant states by developed countries. Therefore, this research probed the effects of cable television on women in Lahore, Pakistan. 1. 2 Objectives of the Study By the year 2006, the number of households having access to cable television has increased manifolds. The growth and usage of cable television was rapid in Pakistan.
According to the Pakistan Advertisers’ Society, the number of households that have access to cable television has increased to 29 percent in 2004 from 5 percent in 2002 whereas according to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), 45 percent of the households were enjoying the cable television facility in 2006. Zia (2003) 3 reports that growth of cable television has resulted into a spill over of the Indian and western channels to Pakistani audience. The primary beneficiaries were the ZEE TV, Sony, Star Plus, HBO, sports channels etc. These western and Indian channels have grabbed attention of viewers in Pakistan and exposed its audience to programmes that were vividly different to the usual available programmes on local television channels.
There was an apprehension among the public that these Indian and western channels may adversely affecting viewers’ minds and activities. Therefore, it was high time to conduct a study on cable television effects. So this research has been conducted to find out the effects of cable television in Pakistan. General aim of this study was to ascertain effects of cable television on women in Lahore, Pakistan. This study tried to record the demographic characteristics of cable television subscribers (women only) and measured their level of viewership. The study also tends to find out respondents’ preferred channels and programmes. It also tried to find out whether or not there existed any gender difference in cable television viewing.
Following were the specific objectives of the study to: · · · · · · · Explore how viewing of cable television was affecting their household chores and other activities; Gauge association between viewing of cable television and change in family and social interaction patterns of women (18-40 years) in Lahore, Pakistan; Find out relationship between viewing of cable television and its effects on personal appearance and style of women; Determine relationship between viewing of cable television and changes in cultural practices; Examine association between viewing of cable television and its effect on house and personal expenditure of women in Lahore, Pakistan; Assess association between viewing of foreign channels and role of Pakistani women in society; Propose recommendations for policy-makers, viewers and media practitioners.
The hypothesis designed for the study was as follows: (A) Major Hypothesis Greater the exposure to cable television greater the effect on the lives of women in Lahore, Pakistan
The core purpose of this study was to dig out the influence of foreign channels and Pakistani channels with foreign contents on social life, values and behaviour patterns of female viewers through cable television. The researcher was interested to examine if the cable television has any affects on women in Pakistan and if ‘yes’, to what extent has it effected the women at basic level in terms of the following factors: · · · · · · Domestic and other activities; Family and social interaction patterns; Appearance and style; Cultural practices i. e. food, language, dress, traditions and religion; Domestic and personal expenditure; and Role of Pakistani women in society. Researcher had selected the above-mentioned factors based on the conclusion, after reviewing the relevant literature i. e. most of the researchers were of the view that television viewing generates socio-economic and cultural changes. The following subhypotheses were formed on the basis of above-mentioned factors. 1. 3. 2 (B)
- Heavy viewers of cable television experience greater degree of effect on their domestic and other activities than moderate and light viewers.
- Heavy viewers of cable television experience a greater degree of change in their family and social interaction patterns than moderate and light viewers.
- Heavy viewers of cable television tend to show a greater degree of acceptance of television characters’ appearance and style than moderate and light viewers.
- Heavy viewers of cable television experience greater degree of effect on their cultural practices than moderate and light viewers.
- Heavy viewers of cable television experience a greater degree of effect on their domestic and personal expenditures than moderate and light viewers.
Heavy viewers of cable television tend to show a greater degree of acceptance of roles of women as portrayed on Indian and western channels than moderate and light viewers.
This study was aimed at finding out effects of cable television on Pakistani women with emphasis on measuring these effects on women belonging to Lahore and viewing cable television for a minimum of two years. The study was important as there was a general 5 oncern in the society about cable television and their impact/effects on women particularly if they were heavy viewers of cable television. But little or no attention had been paid in the past to the actual consumption of cable television and its impact on audience, particularly on women of reproductive age in Lahore, Pakistan.
Selection of Cable Television
With the advancement in technology, media studies need to be shifted towards those new technological gadgets that seem to have become popular globally. Cable television has been put under analysis as it is the most readily available form of media and is gaining immense popularity among the masses in Pakistan.
A former study (sample size 2000) by the researcher regarding an opinion survey for cable viewing habits in Pakistan showed that 90 percent of the population of Lahore had access to cable television. It, therefore, presented a fairly good picture of the availability and acceptability of cable television. The cable television has become a requirement across Pakistan and is not considered a luxury any more. Its rapid spread and acceptance within a short span of time, entitles for a proper study to gauge its effects. The government of Pakistan legalized cable television network in June 2000. The government explained that cable television had emerged as one of the most inexpensive means of entertainment in the county. The authorities wanted to support the cable television network and increase its popularity among viewers.
Introduction of policies and proper rules and regulations by the government ensured transmission of good programmes through their channels. The declared policy of cable television says that government in principles has decided to promote and strengthen this modern network through regular rules, regulations and code of conduct to encourage smooth flow of information, knowledge, education, healthy and constructive entertainment programmes for general public ((Zia, 2003, p. 135). The concern of the researcher was carried on from here forth because cable television as a mass media tool was undeniably popular in Pakistan and has become a flourishing business. Its status changed from “a luxury” and has rather become a household commodity.
According to a research report of sample size of 2000 conducted in Lahore by the researcher, 90 percent of the households in Lahore own a personal cable connection (Zia, 2004, p. 10). Thus, the research intended to bring under examination effects, this household commodity has on its consumers.
Research on Cable Television Effects
In 19th century, new technologies and the spread of literacy led to the development of a remarkable new form of communication: the mass communication. Since that period, concern over powerful media effects has been expressed by society’s educated elite, individuals and groups from all strata of population; from presidents to parents and from intelligentsia to beginning students.
These historical instances of concern about detrimental societal affects of media messages have been strong and loud enough to influence lawmakers, public policy makers and attract the interest of numerous scholars. Therefore, the researcher believes that present study could perform the same function. We live in a world where we receive a multitude of mediated messages daily. Thompson and Bryant (2002) state that the knowledge of effects from mediated communication assumed an increased importance. We have become information-oriented and information-dependent and some have dubbed ours as an “Information Society”. Computers and mass media are vital cogs in our societal infrastructure. With so much of what is perceived to be wrong, in today’s world, has been blamed on the media of communication of some sort or another.
The issue of mass media effects has become one of the paramount social relevance. Media effect is an important and fascinating research domain. A fundamental knowledge of media effects is a necessary criterion for excelling in the information age. James Current (1988) said “Empirically grounded audience research stressing audience power also raises difficulties”. Much of this work is directed towards the short term media influence, even through media influence is primarily long term and cumulative. Concerns over impacts/effects of media always reinforce whenever a new communication technology is introduced in the society because technology has never been neutral. It always has negative or positive impact.
Thus to judge the effects of cable television, a communication system recently gained popularity in Pakistan is the most relevant and important area of research for communication experts and researchers. Since the acceptability of cable television has been termed as a household commodity, it was therefore necessary to check whether it has any impact on its consumers or not. More importantly, if it does have an impact, the researcher intended to explore the nature of the impact. The researcher observed that laws and rules have been devised but the cable operators are not abiding them. 7 A study conducted by Saleem (1994) on ‘Impact of Dish Antenna on Pakistani Society” concluded that 44 percent of the respondents felt considerable impact upon their social behaviour.
Viewers of programmes through dish antenna felt a change in their outlook towards life and became more broad-minded. The study further revealed that satellite communication was introducing international culture and viewers were admiring the general living standards of social values of western and Indian societies. Majority of the women respondents in this study were of the opinion that dresses hairstyles and jewellery of Indian and western models grabbed their attention the most. Therefore, new trends and fashions were making their way in our society. Through this dissertation, the researcher intended to explore whether people are adopting these new trends and fashions or not.
In light of the findings of the study conducted by the researcher herself: “Cable Television Network in Pakistan Development, Usage, Prospects and Dilemmas” in 2003 the programmes that were being projected on the satellite channels were pre-dominantly western and Indian. On these cable television networks, a lot of undesirable programmes and advertisements were also being screened without any fear of being checked as the government does not have any system of check and balance.
Women population under study has been further divided into three categories: light viewers (watching cable television from 1-2 hours daily), moderate viewers (watching cable television for more than 2 but less then 4 hours daily) and heavy viewers (watching cable television 4 and more then 4 hours daily).
They live in contrasting social set-ups, have different levels of education, reside in different environments and have varying exposure to outer world and communication opportunities. All these factors have been taken into consideration because the researcher intended to examine varying affects on females according to their demographic characteristics. With the reference to passive audience behaviour of the women as stated by Bellour (1975), moving images on screen function simultaneously for the imaginary and the symbolic. As the spectator enters into a filmic experience, she first identifies with the cinematic apparatus; the projector functions as the eye. Secondly, she has a narcissistic identification with the image and then as she moves from imaginary to the symbolic, she desires the image.
Laura Mulvey further suggests that in order to derive visual pleasure, the female spectator must identify with the passive, fetish position of the female character 8 on screen. Hence, with such concern in the back of her mind, it was very necessary to measure those implicit and explicit effects that (might) affect the behaviour and attitudes of the female-audience. It is a general observation that females in Pakistan are the housewives. A very small segment of the female population professionally works. Hence their exposure to outside world is limited. Thus, their perception falls back upon the mediated and glamorised reality via television. This also directed attention towards an important issue: the weak analytical and expressive powers of female population in general.
Even if the women possess communicative skills, they are not provided with a proper platform to get themselves heard. Further, in Pakistan’s male-dominated society, women are not encouraged to come forward and speak-out their minds. Such observations developed the need of this study. In Pakistan, a woman is supposed to perform an important responsibility of bringing up their children. She is considered as the first institution of the society from where the child learns. Moreover, woman is also the one who is responsible for keeping intact the value system of the family unit and thus the women population holds the key to value system of the society in general.
Hence, this study had a strong rationale for analyzing the effects women are receiving through the cable television. Zia (2003) mentioned that cable television channels have been immensely popular among viewers, particularly among women folk in Pakistan. Public concern over the ill effects of media violence and sexuality, explicit content, obscenity and vulgar language shown through cable television channels is evident and important. This caused many to criticize the channels and express concern over the effects of such material on an innocent and expanding viewership. It was reported in the national dailies several times that angry viewers physically attacked the cable operators.
On the other hand, the PEMRA does not have any proper system of check and balance and monitoring cable networks. Thus, this study was deemed significant for the public and the policy makers. A study by Zia (2004) concluded that entertainment was the primary purpose of viewing cable television and 70 percent female cable viewers were interested in watching only two kinds of programmes: films and dramas. Only 17. 3 percent of the women used cable television for information and awareness purpose. Therefore, this study focused on women only and analysed the affects of these programmes on them. The study has provided certain recommendations on the bases of these affects. 9
Thompson and Bryant (2002) expressed that new media enabled users to become more active in communication process and to be more selective with regard to messages they receive. They were active agents rather than passive receivers of information. They may be called addressable users of micro multimedia television. Bellour (1975) considered women as passive audience but was converting them into an active audience. Hence, with all these aspects in mind, the study explored the area of cable watching and its effects with special reference to women residing in Lahore, Pakistan.
Brief History of Cable Television
The traditional mass media had a confined sphere in countries where it initially grew, functioning strictly in line with the values, norms, traditions and basic requirements of the local populace.
But, the invention of new technologies like satellite communication, cable television and internet has helped it cross national boundaries and address the worldwide audience. These boosting inventions have, in fact, made the world a global village by transforming media into an international entity. We are living in an era which has frequently been characterized as ‘the age of communication revolution’ a cycle of profound and accelerating social and cultural change often attributed to the impact of new media technologies. This communication revolution is, in fact, a succession of three overlapping technological stages that have taken place during the last 150 years (Zia, 2003, p. 1).
Encyclopedia Britannica (1986) describes cable television that generally, a system that distributes television signals by means of coaxial or fibre optic cables. The term also includes systems that distribute signals solely via satellite. Cable television system originated in United States in the early 1950s and was designed to improve reception of commercial network broadcasts in remote and hilly areas. 1. 6 World History of Cable Television John Walson, an appliance storeowner in a small town of Mahanoy, had difficulty selling television sets to local residents because reception in the area was poor. The problem seemed to be the location of the town in a valley and nearly 90 air miles from the Philadelphia television transmitters.
Naturally, signals could not pass through mountains and clear reception was virtually impossible except on the ridges outside of town. It was frustrating for those who had just purchased an expensive set but not receiving clear transmission. Reasons for poor reception were well-understood. For one thing, the early transmitters were not very powerful. If one lived close to the station, there 10 were few limitations. But for those living some distance away, reception could be poor, the picture was often fuzzy, distorted or faint. Even a passing car could create electrical interference and fill the screen with ‘snow’ or cause the picture to roll.
In addition, the fact that television signals travel in a straight line reduced the quality of reception or even made it impossible behind large buildings on the back side of hills or mountains and in similar positions. To solve his problem, Mr. Walson put an antenna on the top of a large utility pole and installed it on the top of a nearby mountain. Television signals were received and transported over twin lead antenna wire down to his store. Once people saw these early results, television sales soared. It became his responsibility to improve the picture quality by using coaxial cable and self- manufactured ‘boosters’ (amplifiers to bring cable television to the homes of customers who bought television sets. And as such the cable television was born in June 1948.
In the early 1950’s, television was fairly new. Though it had not yet become popular, city department stores displayed many different models for sale. And, like an apartment house where every resident had his/her own television, the rooftops of stores were beginning to resemble forests of television antennas. Milton Jerrold Shapp, who later became governor of Pennsylvania, developed a system to consolidate the forest of antennas for city department stores and apartment buildings. Under this new system, one master antenna (MATV) could be used for all television in the building. His secret: the coaxial cable and signal boosters (amplifiers) capable of carrying multiple signals at once.
At about the same time, in the nearby town of Lansford, another appliance salesman named Robert (Bob) Tarlton experienced similar problems as those faced by Mr. Walson. He read about Mr. Shapp’s new system and though it worked for apartment houses and department stores, it could work for his own town as well. While the community was only 65 miles from Philadelphia, it was behind a mountain that interfered with signals. Tarlton decided to try a new approach. He put up a big antenna and for a monthly fee he provided a cable hook-up to each subscriber’s home. He called his new business the “Panther Valley Television Company”, and he was able to supply excellent signals to people who could not otherwise operate a receiver. He did not originate any new programming.
All he did was to capture network broadcasts with his community antenna and relay them to homes on his system.
Cable Develops in the World Pay television was launched in November 1972 when Service Electric offered Home Box Office or HBO over its cable system in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. This represented the first successful pay cable service to the nation. Despite the fact that HBO was only viewed by a few hundred people that first night, it has gone on to become the world’s largest pay cable service with over 11,500,000 viewers. So HBO decided to deliver its signals by satellite. HBO was the first programming service to use a satellite to distribute its programming.
The way it works is that a signal is beamed from the earth to a satellite in a stationary orbit some 22,300 miles over the equator and bounced back to receivers on the earth. By satellite distribution, HBO’s signals are available to cable operators throughout North America. Because it is so widely available, it had an advantage over the earthbound, microwave distributed services such as WOR-TV- an independent station in New York city. Cable is in many ways a bit different; however there is certainly a greater variety of choice. For a monthly fee, one can receive the ‘basic’ service, which is usually a mixed bag that includes network broadcasts plus special channels that feature weather, sports, religious programmes, news, public service announcements, rock music and various other kinds of content.
For additional fees one can add movie channels or other special services.
Development of Television in Pakistan
Authorities in Pakistan introduced television in 1964 with the aim to uplift the nation socially and culturally. As Pakistan was a newly-born state and under-developed, it was thought that television could help in achieving progress in the country through dissemination of information, knowledge, education and awareness. Before Pakistan television started in 1964, Pakistani public was a little bit familiar with television through an exhibition where Philips Electrical Company installed a few television sets and televised few foreign films.
In October 1963, a national publicity conference was held under the chairmanship of the President Ayub Khan that decided to set up a television station in Pakistan. Hence Pakistan entered into television broadcasting age with a small pilot television station at Lahore on November 26, 1964 from where transmission was beamed black and white. This station telecast some live but amateur programmes and some of foreign films. Initially, television centre was set up with the help of UNESCO, Colombo plan and Japanese government. To meet the graving cost of television 12 broadcasting, commercial telecast was also permitted but no license fee was charged on television set at that time.
Pakistan Television Corporation Limited
Initially the Government of Pakistan established a private company in collaboration with the Japanese Nippon Electrical Company (NEC) and Britain World known Thomas Television International which initially started television programming in 1964. The shares of the government of Pakistan were greater then the private company. On May 29, 1967 the company turned into a public limited company namely Pakistan Television Corporation and registered under Company’s Act 1913. The Managing Director, always nominated by the government, is the managing and executive head of the corporation and implements rules formulated for the Corporation and its employees.
A Board of Directors comprises 10 members and looks after policy maters and important affairs of the Corporation. The central office of the corporation consists of seven divisions accordingly.
Development of Pakistan Television Corporation Limited
Pakistan Television has now five centres throughout the country including Karachi and Rawalpindi television centres, which were established in 1967 and Peshawar and Quetta centres in 1975. Ptv-Karachi Centre along with four re-broadcast stations at Thana Bola Khan, Shikarpur, Noorpur and Thando Allahyar, connected to other centres in the country through microwave link, cover about 90 percent of the population.
Until 1968, when the network procured the required VTR recording equipment, it was perforce transmitting only live from the studios, and then mostly operating in rented buildings. And in 1976, it switched over to color transmission. It has established its own training academy as well. Now Ptv has been converted into a profitable organization with a leap of Rs. 287 million from Rs. 1431 to Rs. 1718 million in advertising income; from Rs. 148 million net operating losses to Rs. 38 million net operating profits.
A new satellite channel Ptv World was launched in 1991. With the opening of Ptv World, Pakistani programmes are now being viewed in other parts of the world via satellite. Mideast Time, an extension of Ptv World, targets Pakistani expatriates in the Middle East.
The objective of the Ptv National is providing different local news as well as entertainment in all languages in different part of the country.
AJK TV AJK television is a Kashmiri Channel providing different programmes for local viewers and Kashmiri and Gojrati news. 1. 8 Induction of Private Sector in Broadcast Media In Pakistan the broadcast media has remained under the government control during the last 40 years of the country’s history. However, the last decade witnessed a great change in the media policy of the government and media gradually opened up to the private sector. In line with the global trends it also introduced the new media technologies in the country resulting in a rapid growth of broadcast media in the country.
The late 80’s and early 90’s marked a turning point on the electronic media landscape with the emergence of Shalimar Television Network (STN), although partially state-owned as an alternate channel to Ptv in 1989. In 1996, the government allowed private radio and television outlets namely FM-100 and Shaheen Pay TV, which assumed the shape of an industry.
Cable Television Network in Pakistan
In Pakistan, the cable television network was quietly introduced at a small scale in Karachi in the early 80’s in the absence of any regulatory law. It started from the city’s apartment buildings and worked without any large-scale equipment because of the close proximity of the apartments.
Main attraction for subscribers was Indian and English movies and Ptv dramas which the operators would obtain on rent from nearby video centres. Operation rooms were usually set up in the basements of the buildings, giving connections to each apartment from there. Each household was paying a small monthly fee to the operator for the service. (Zia, 2003) In 1982, according to Director Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the availability of satellite channels in Pakistan brought about a major change in the cable network operations. Cable operators who were relying on the video cassettes until now felt the need for installing satellite-receiving dishes to provide a variety of programmes to their subscribers through CNN, Star TV and various Indian channels.
Thus the large scale cable network emerged out of the already established cable system. Cable system started to expand by a stringing of wires from one rooftop to another and so on. The system in Karachi gradually flourished and many people entered in this business. During early 1990’s satellite television became an irresistible phenomenon in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab. But in 1998, all major channels were transferred to 14 decoders, which were a lot more expensive and the annual subscription was also beyond the reach of a common man. A man once setup this satellite system for his own personal use and then started providing this service to neighbouring areas against a small fee.
Thus, this gave way to the business of cable television networking which established and flourished in a short period. The government took notice of this illegal operation in the late 1998. The Nawaz Sharif headed government came to conclusion that cable operation be made legal in Pakistan. But before any action could be taken, the Nawaz Sharif government was toppled and the armed forces took command of the nation’s destiny and started considering legalization of the cable television. The army regime headed by General Musharraf legalized cable television operations in January 2000. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) started the procedure of issuing licenses to the cable operators in January 2000.
The following is the data for the number of issued application forms and responses received till June 2000. PTA chairman Mian Muhammad Javed explained that cable television had now emerged as one of the most inexpensive means of entertainment in the country which government wanted to make more popular among users and viewers by framing policies and proper rules and regulations to ensure transmission of good programmes through their channels. The legalization process of cable television networks started in November 1998 and completed in 2000. Therefore, in June 2000, cable television networks started functioning legally which initiated a new era of electronic media in Pakistan.
This raised a number of new queries and gave an opportunity to people to discuss this new system of communication in Pakistan. 1. 10 Cable Television Licenses There were eight categories of cable television licenses ranging from B-1 to B-8 based on the number of subscribers. Till December 2001, total number of legal cable operators was 840 across the country. Out of these, a majority of operators were based in Karachi, Lahore and in some other major cities of Punjab. For the running of one small set-up at least 8-10 employees were required. About 8,000 people got employment through this system and were providing livelihood to about 50,000 persons. On the other hand illegal cable operators also continued to work.
Secondly, houses are close to each other, making 16 supplying of connections easier than in cities like Islamabad where the houses are not so close. Therefore, in the federal capital, cable television system is far from being a thriving trend as cable operators see dim business prospects in the field. According to a study in which three thousand people were interviewed in different areas of town, cable network has expanded 25 percent in just one year. (Zia, 2003: 89).
Formation of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority
An independent cooperate body namely Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) was established to regulate the process of awarding icenses to private and public sector, for smooth functioning of private media and to effectively deal with the public complaints on March 1, 2002 after the lapse of the PEMRA Ordinance in 1997. This body is functional since April 15, 2002. PEMRA consisted of a Chairman and nine members appointed by President of Pakistan. PEMRA inherited 848 licenses from PTA and issued around 1173 new licenses.
- PEMRA Vision To promote the electronic media in Pakistan so as:
- To reflect the aspirations of people at national and international level
- To serve as a catalyst for socio-economic development
- Exploit indigenous human and financial resources in the broadcasting field to gain competitive advantage and become a leading player in the region Introduce state of the art technologies
Functions of the Authority PTA is responsible for facilitating and regulating the establishment and operation of all the broadcast media and distribution services in Pakistan established for international, national, provincial, district and local or special target audiences. 17 1. 11. 4 Aims and Objectives PTA thus underscored following key objectives: To streamline cable television operations in Pakistan by identifying actual and potential cable elevision homes in Pakistan To mutually resolve issues/grievances between cable television operators and service providers by determining reasonable tariff structure To ensure positive contribution to the economy by attracting and encouraging potential investors in the field of electronic media To enhance the existing revenue base of PEMRA To avoid massive larceny of government revenue in the form of taxes and tariffs caused due to concealing of facts about actual income by cable television operators · To evade anomalies and piracy issues in electronic media For obvious reasons, cable television still remains the fastest growing sector in the domain of electronic media in the country. PTA has evolved a comprehensive policy to grant licenses for establishing cable television networks, identifying for them baskets of television channels and introducing them to new media technologies.
PEMRA has issued cable television regulations, developed a code of ethics for operators selected 54 eligible television channels for distribution detected over 2,000 illegal cable television operators/loop line holders and regularized rural areas cable television operators. Till February 2004, there were 1,105 licensed cable television operators in the country, whereas many more are being licensed and almost double the number are under process for regularization. As per Sedat and Murshad Associates survey and study, an estimated investment in this segment is over Rs. 7. 28 billion with annual growth rate of 132 percent for the last three years.
Cable television operators all over the country have been relaying programmes and advertisements on self-generated CD channels in explicit violation of the provisions 21 of PEMRA regulations. By doing so they were causing damage to the satellite television channel operators by fetching advertisements at a very cheaper cost. Moreover, content and quantity of such private channels was also devoid of PEMRA rules. On the other hand, cable television operators of the country have persistently demanded PEMRA for granting permission for in-house channels and advertising on cable television networks.
PEMRA has therefore devised a policy for registration of inhouse channels for cable television operators. The very purpose of this policy is to ensure the level playing field for stakeholders by regulating illegal transpiration of in-house channels. The number of such channels is now restricted to five (maximum) according to categories of cable television licenses. Whereas, in past they were showing 15 to 20 such channels by flouting all the regulations and norms. No operator is allowed to transmit their local channels or to insert ads without prior permission/license of the Authority. The license for in-house channel and its fee is in addition to the license for cable television operation.
Moreover, the sector had over the time come to be lighted massively by the courage of loopline connections. Instead of going for rather impracticable punitive actions, the Authority thought it more prudent and practicable to bring the operators of these illegal connections in its net by offering them concessions. To this end, it introduced for operators running their cable operations on loopline from any licensed cable television head-end operators, a category marked as cable television license of loop-line holders (LH Category). It provides two options to such loop holders. They can either obtain an independent license in LH Category maintaining their independent status or they may become an agent to the licensed cable television operator.
Both options were evolved in consultation with various representatives of cable television operators associations and stakeholders (PEMRA: Annual Report 2002-2003). As such, some good results were obtained and PEMRA issued 640 head-end licenses till 2006 in Punjab. In Lahore, PEMRA has issued 83 head-end licensees till 2006, out of which 68 are active and 276 loop holders are successfully handling cable perorations and serving 0. 35 million subscribers. Every cable operator/loop holder provides more than 100 channels to connection holder. In Pakistan the broadcast media has remained under the government control.
However, the last decade witnessed a great change in media policy of government and media gradually opened up to private sector. In line with global trends it also introduced new media technologies in the country and the resultantly a rapid growth of broadcast media in the country was witnessed. In 1989 Shalimar Television Network (STN) although partially state-owned, emerged as an alternate channel to Ptv. The government in 1996 allowed private radio and television outlets, namely FM-100 and Shaheen Pay TV, which assumed the shape of an industry. In practical terms, it meant competition and resultantly the creation of a broad spectrum environment for access to information, education and entertainment.
Until August 1990, Pakistan Television Corporation (Ptv) was the only state owned television channel. At that time, however, another television channel, People’s Television Network, was established which brought Cable News Network (CNN) to Pakistan. This channel was also partially government controlled. Presently, more than 20 satellite television channels having Pakistani contents are being broadcast with different names including foreign band channels including: AJK Geo TV Indus Plus Ptv 1 QTV UNI Plus ARY Digital Pakistan Indus Music Indus Vision Ptv Channel 3 The City Channel Geo News ARY One World Indus News KTN Ptv National The Music Apna Channel
Electronic Media Review (2004) reports that the technology of wireless cable (MMDS) strengthened its roots in Pakistan in the year 1996. Shaheen TV, a subsidiary of Shaheen Foundation, obtained license from the government of Pakistan to establish analogue Multi-channel Multipoint Distribution System (MMDS). Initially, Shaheen Pay TV used to broadcast 10 channels but later increased the number to twelve. A majority of stakeholders now is the Southern Group. Presently, Shaheen Pay TV is operating in three cities: Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. PEMRA has issued two MMDS licenses for two cities to a company whereas 12 companies are being issued MMDS licenses in other 19 cities. It will provide a wide choice, comparatively better television services to subscribers.
LMDS system is not operative at the moment in Pakistan. PEMRA plans to issue licenses in this technology in near future (PEMRA website, 2006). 1. 16 Situation Analysis The cable industry and satellite channels played a mutual complimentary role in the country and giving a sound impetus to the private television network. An amazing rise of cable television is evident if one examines the growth rate of cable television operators over the years. In 2002, the number of cable operators was 837 which increased to 1301 till 2006. Some of them have subscriber basis as low as 1,000 to as high as in hundreds and thousands. Subscription fee varies from Rs. 25 to Rs. 350 per month. Most of the networks are providing minimum of 30 to 40 and maximum of 120-150 channels to subscribers. Cable television network is gradually spreading out in a number of small towns extending to the rural areas providing the masses access to foreign and local satellite channels. The popularity of cable television in the country is owing to the availability of both local and foreign channels as well as access to round the clock availability of programmes of a wide variety. People started enjoying this new freedom of choice and 29 came out of the stagnant state of Ptv which monopolised the electronic media field for a long time.
Viewers may have the cable connection by paying nominal amount and can watch a variety of channels which provide them unlimited number of films, drama, music, international programmes, sports programmes etc. With the introduction of cable television, viewers of different age groups and different income groups can now approach different kinds of local and foreign channels. Another reason for its acceptability and popularity among the viewers is the leisure and entertainment at their doorstep. For instance, if a family visits a cinema hall, they have to spend on their travelling, food stuff and tickets, obviously being expensive to a middle class family.
Now, with the ultimate number of channels on cable television, inexpensive and round the clock entertainment is available at their home for the entire family. At the same time they may avoid the programmes on Ptv which lack variety, are unattractive and with a lot of coverage to the govt activities. As a result these programmes are quite often monotonous and uninteresting. In contrast, foreign channels provide a variety of programmes, non-stop entertainment and a choice to all the members of the family. Moreover, their uncensored presentation is found to be bold and attractive for them. One of the reasons for the attraction of cable television channels is the live coverage of international audience hitherto ignored by Ptv in the past.
The Ptv news and current affairs programmes gave more coverage to government activities and most of the time full of statements and speeches of the VIPs, political leaders and ministers were telecast. It lacked coverage to social and other issue of common man’s interests. Therefore, viewers were glad when they received news of events of their interests and interviews with personalities on BBC, CNN and other private channels rather than statements by the government officials and celebrities. They were also amazed by visiting foreign lands by watching programmes on cable television foreign channels and were also exposed to the behaviour and lifestyle of other nations.
Apart from live coverage of major happenings, interviews with personalities on news channels, music channels, dramas on Geo, Star Plus, ARY and Sports channels attracted both viewers and advertisers which posed a serious threat to Ptv. The soap operas, talk shows, chat shows and other programmes have become quite popular among viewers of all income status groups, though these programmes promote a very different values system from that of Pakistanis. As a result, rapid growth of cable television in Pakistan has not only broken the monopoly of Ptv in the country but also possessed a challenge to the behaviour and values system of our nation. Further, with the advent of 30 satellite transmission and growth of cable television has enhanced the element of competition among the television channels.
Consequently, local and state-owned television channels are following the production patterns of foreign channels, particularly Star Plus owned by Star TV Network. Star plus is projecting and promoting the Indian traditions, values and culture in Hindi language. In Pakistan, no other technology has been accepted and ever made a so sudden impact on minds of peoples as the cable television network has made. With emergence of private satellite channels, the whole broadcasting industry has been commercialized. The expansion of commercial broadcasting has created a consumer-oriented market which further expanded the marketing and advertising infrastructure of Pakistan’s economy. This was required for the success of the government’s liberal media policy.
One of the important and clear trends observed in Pakistani broadcasting industry is the shifting of senior, famous and creative directors, producers and broadcasters from Ptv to the new private television channels. There might be the following reasons for this act: · · Private television channels are paying heavily to the media professionals i. e. producers, directors, editors, etc. Media professionals are enjoying more freedom to work in private channels as compared to state-owned media i. e. Ptv and PBC Another important result of the media expansion is the fragmentation of audience. These channels provide diversity in content and theme targeting a specific group. There are separate dedicated channels for sports, movies, music, drama, news, religion etc. Similarly, there are separate channels for different languages i. e. ational, international and regional. Many indigenous programmes are just replicas of the western and Indian programmes. Most of the channels show cliches of similar programmes having a few innovative ideas. This shows that a variety of programmes are available but the content is almost the same.
Chapter 2 Literature Review
Literature review is considered to be the most important stage of the research process as it allows to earn from (and eventually add to) previous researches and also saves time, efforts and money. Therefore, the researcher reviewed all the relevant literature available on internet and in major libraries across Pakistan.
A logical and systematic review of the literature made the completion of this study possible. The focal point of this study was to evaluate the effects of cable television on women’s life patterns in Pakistan. Literature review revealed that one of the major concerns amongst the researchers all over the world was the amount of exposure to foreign channels on cable television and its impact on the society. The impact of television’s incessant presentation of social roles is sometimes a problem for cultures that differ in their values from the place where these programmes originate. Ideas about family, interaction, marriage and roles are not the same as projected in foreign programmes as they are within the native country.
The following section presents a review of the results of relevant studies conducted in various countries and exposes that there has not been any similar research conducted in Pakistan.
International Studies on Television / Cable Television
Latin American communication researchers began to analyze the nature and perceived effects of the rapid spread of mass media, particularly commercial television as the foreign cultural influence in their region. Before 1970s, a good deal of attention in Latin American communication writing was focused on critical analysis of media but with relatively little attention to audience. Later, emphasis was laid on media and audience by exploring what popular culture meant for Latin Amercian audience (Mcanany and Antonio, 1994).
The importance of audience and media relationship has been recognized in the western countries thus the researcher felt the need of addressing the impact of cable television on the audience (women) in Pakistan also. A review of the knowledge on new communication technologies pertaining to cultural identity by Jamias (1993) summarizes that fear burns rife over the negative impact potential of new communication technologies on cultural identity in rural Asia. Yet technology is not neutral. Technology is good or bad depending on the use to which it is put. Research results have shown both positive and negative aspects of media 32 technology. In contrast, the ambivalent nature of new communication technology and research, in short, should inform media policy. It should inform the choices that people make in their media usage. The appropriate esearch approach builds on the primacy of social needs, not merely at the whims of market forces. And, individual citizens should be intellectually prepared to be discerning if not critical users of communication media and products. Yoshii (2001) finally considers how society and culture could change as a whole with increased dissemination of new media, changes in communication and states. As a result of new media as a whole speeding up the flow of information, the world will undergo radical changes such as it has never before experienced. These changes will, like it or not, transform social organizations, bringing about what business administrators call ‘temporariness’. And the world will shift to a value system that applauds changes.
The new media, if used improperly, may not only bring about serious social problems but also give rise to a new rich-poor gap in information between those who know to use the media and those who do not. We need to firmly establish media literacy and media ethics if we are to prevent these problems from arising. Keeping in view the concerns of the above mentioned researches the present research was the first in Pakistan on similar grounds. The results of this study could provide a guideline to the audience how to critically analyze the content of media and keep watch of negative impacts. Goonasekera (1993) relates the relationship between media and social imperatives. It is possible for a third world country to adopt communication policies to bypass early stages of industrialization and leapfrog the modern technology.
He says that Palapa was an experiment in rural development through the use of advanced communication technologies by using a satellite based system of broadcasting and telecommunication to link vastly scattered villages with the centre. It was considered the most cost-efficient and quickest way of linking the 150 million people of Indonesia. The satellite system was used to launch a development communication programme aimed at teaching basic skills in production and marketing of rural areas-based goods to teach family planning, improved health and hygiene to show how to protest the natural environment and to provide general information about the world outside. Rahim (1994) conducted a survey on the impact of cable network on television and video viewing in Hyderabad.
According to him: “Cable network introduced in India in 1984 are new phenomenon in media as compared to video. There were about 3,460 33 cable television networks in May 1990 and over 3. 3 million households in four metros namely Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta and Madras had been cable television, with an audience of 1. 6 million. Though it does not present as wide and personal selection of programme’s content as video but offers similar entertainment at less cost and also over come the problem of zapping of advertisements. Hence, it is more useful for the advertiser. ” He concludes that cable subscribers are mostly from upper and middle income groups. The average time spent on watching television is 5. 6 hours per day in each household. Out of this, 60 percent of time is spent in watching programmes on cable and 40 percent on watching Door Darshan. More females watch entertainment programmes on television. Although there is no significant variation of choice regarding news on DD and cable television but it is preferred for entertainment programmes and movies. ” A research on the impact of cable television on women at a very basic level in terms of activities, time management and interaction with family members and the outside world revealed that 16 out of 30 women spent over 4 hours a day watching cable television and 10 of them spent 2 to 3 hours a day (Eashwer, 1994).
The researcher reported that the major activities affected are: · · · Exposure to other media and reading habits Interaction with children, husband, other family members, friends and neighbours Cooking and other household work Women see two Indian feature films a day on cable television which pushes them to the world of fantasy and promotes violence. The above mentioned studies performed in South East Asia have not been conducted in Pakistan. This study ascertains if the similar effects and viewer-ship patterns are present in Pakistan or if there is a deviation. Sen (1993) narrates that in today’s world with fibre optics and satellites, it is hard to isolate one self from sounds and images from the west but no established and traditional and cultural entity wants to be overwhelmed and dominated by the accoutrements of another alien culture.
If the global culture means domination of one over the other or replacing one by the other, then there is less scope of development of a truly global culture which could include interaction, assimilation, exchange of ideas, artistic and scientific cross fertilization. He concludes that there is no clear evidence of a global culture at present. On the contrary, evidence suggests that the third world people are changing more to their own 34 music, art, language and customers. Prevalence of the American pop culture is more apparent in urban areas and among the elite of the third world countries but still the majority is in rural areas. The consumption of American products will more likely continue to expand the gap between the rich and the poor urban and the rural cultures.
Shariffadeen (1995) looks at some of the major economic, cultural and social issues faced by developing countries arising from new technology in his study. He concludes that the new communication era should not be perceived as a purely technological phenomenon. Its ultimate impact is social and cultural, although technological advancement is the key enabler. This new era invites a change in social and cultural patterns. At individual level, it raises the importance of mental and intellectual ability. For society at large, it engenders new forms of social organizations. Economic restriction will result from information intensification in production and delivery of goods and services.
A strategic approach involving full mobilization of critical resources is suggested as being the key to a higher level of achievements. Finally, it is suggested that developing nations promote a learning culture among their people in order to gain foothold in the emerging information based economy. The above mentioned studies target the scope and impact of cable television on education and information based economy. In this study the researcher measured the impact of cable television on family and social interaction, social role, domestic and other activities of women in Pakistan. This study gave a new scope and dimension to researchers in other countries. The role of new information/communication technologies (NICT) in the field of education is examined by Karnik (1995).
Her study revealed that NICT facilitate the extension and outreach of education. She says that increasing privatisation and commercialisation of education is an evident trend worldwide. To this, technology has added a new dimension: globalization through trans-national satellite broadcast of distance education programmes. Though this is just the beginning but this trend is likely to continue. The implications and effects of this trend, especially for developing countries, need to be carefully examined. There are also numerous issues about cultural diversity versus homogeneity that need consideration but still NICT throw open a vast field of opportunities in the education sector.
As recommended by Karnik the need to address impacts on cultural issues caused by media was felt by researcher and this study aspired to fill that gap in this field with in 35 Pakistan. Furthermore, new issues identified regarding cultural diversity and national identity would provide thought provoking direction to the future researches. Skinner (1984) found that those who watch more US programmes had a more positive image of the US and a less favourable image of Trinidad. Tsai (1970) in a study among Taiwanese children who watch television found that they favoured elements of American culture and have a less favourable attitude towards their own culture than their non-viewing counterparts.
Similarly, Babi (1990) in Cameroon concluded that youth would have a favourable attitude towards elements of foreign culture and a strong preference for locally produced programmes. Youth experienced the influence of television on the way they dress up. His study reports the theory that television’s impact would be pervasive in some aspects as well as stimulate changes in others. There has been a slight influx of state-run Soviet television appearing on American cable television. Three experiments were conducted on US viewers to see the change in the image of the Soviet Union (Lavin, 1991). The results of all the studies indicated that those who watch two sessions of indigenous Soviet television formulated a significantly more positive opinion of Soviet Union than those who did not see the programmes.
The intrusting finding here is that viewers incorporate effective qualities from televised images and generalize these evaluations to the nation that those images depict. Mohammad (1993) the prime minister of Malaysia is of the view that we live in information technology age. There has been and there will continue to be an unending explosion in the field of information technology. Today we can sit in our homes and watch and hear whatever happens in the world. But what we see, hear and witness is decided by media. Clearly the people, who decide what we should see and hear, hold terrible power. As the people who control the media control our minds and probably control the world.
And who control the powerful world media are not the national governments of developing or developed nations but a very few people. They have an effective weapon in the form of a worldwide television network. Today they broadcast slanted news, tomorrow they will broadcast raw pornography to corrupt our children and destroy our culture. They are already doing that in Europe. We can control the reception today but not afterwards. He further says that Malaysia believes in press freedom but with responsibility. 36 The above mentioned study concluded that impact of television is pervasive and stimulates the changes in viewer’s lifestyle. Television is an effective tool to arouse change in a society.
The present study evaluated the type of changes occurring in viewers (women) in Lahore – Pakistan due to the cable television. The author of “Studying the media: An introduction” has included a chapter on the changing media worlds in his book. Talking about the latest developments in the fields of cable television, the author has mentioned about VCTC (viewer controlled cable television) in US, which allows viewers to create their own schedules. Some cable viewers in Britain were offered sports programmes where they could chose channels with different camera angles, replays or computer-generated information as accompaniments to their viewing of the live coverage.
Viewers, listeners and readers may now exercise choice across new, increasingly specialized narrow cat channels and services in case of sports, movies, home lifestyle or children’s channels etc. About half a million homes now receive cable services in Britain. The main source of income for most channels is on a pay per view basis, advertising and sponsorship in some cases (Tim, 1994). Some of the cable services available to viewers in Europe who are connected are Asia Vision, The Box, Identity Television, The Landscape Channel, The Learning Channel, The Parliamentary Channel, Super Channel, Vision Broadcasting, Performance, The Arts Channel, Euro News etc.
Also available are local channels, foreign language channels and minority language channels etc. Research findings of Atkin and LaRose, (1991) suggest that access viewers do not fit the upscale information seekers profile typical of other public affairs consumers. While better educated and heavy access viewers are nevertheless likely to be older, tired and have lower incomes. Such research indicates, for instance, that general viewership is higher among larger, younger and non-white families. This is clearly not the case with access. According to the study of Umphrey, (1991) cost was a factor in determining whether subscribers would upgrade and maintain their level of cable service.
Further, higher monthly bills may lead to greater expectations which have an effect on a subscribers’ ongoing evaluation of the medium along with other factors such as degree of satisfaction with local cable operators. As Lin and Jeffers, (1998) stated that the result seemed to meet the expectation of the research assumptions which ascribe little demographic difference between cable 37 television adaptors and non-adaptors, as more innovative individuals tend to have stronger need for ( and be earlier adaptors of) technology products in general. Perse and Ferguson, (1993) pointed out that cable television was unrelated to the benefits of television viewing.
Moreover, though cable television offers greater programme variety, other aspects of cable may be dissatisfying with management and customer service and the repetition of programme offering especially on more expensive pay channels. The present study evaluated the subscription ratio of cable television among different income earning groups and determined subscribers channel preferences in Pakistan. Since cable is primarily a subscription medium, its effects should be felt more on the consumer spending side conducted by Glascock (1993). Indeed that is the case. While overall consumer spending on mass media has increased, spending on traditional media has decreased.
The addition of cable subscription revenues change the trend for consumer’s spending from negative to positive. It appears from this that consumer spending has increased for cable during the 1978-1990 at the expense of spending on traditional media. It also appears that cable has attracted further consumer spending not previously devoted to traditional mass media. The same kind of research study on behavioural changes entitled “The impact of television on family life in Boston area” was conducted by Lundberg (1958). The researcher concluded that there was no marked tendency for families to cut down on their viewing as they became accustomed to the set.
Television brings families closer in the sense that they spend more time in each other’s presence after they acquire a television set. However, there is very little interaction among family members when they watch television together and the amount of time family members spend together exclusive of television is reduced. It is, therefore, doubtful whether television brings the family together in any psychological sense. As compared to other activities in the same room when a programme is on, most of the sets are located in living room, which is kept in semi-darkness when the set is on and nearly all owners have their sets on at some time during the after-supper hours each day.
This means that reading, playing and conversing are at a minimum in the living room of television -homes during the evening. Many parents have difficulty in getting the children to leave the television set to come for their meals and some have solved this problem by serving meals to the children 38 in front of the set. One-sixth of the families interviewed reported doing this every night and half do it on occasion. Bedtime is a fairly serious problem for parents and children living in homes that are in possession of a television set. Such children go to bed later than children of the same age in homes without a television set. Television interferes very little with homework.
Parents generally insist on their children’s finishing their homework before they watch television and virtually none of the children attempts to do their studying in the same room with the television set when some one is watching a programme. The number of children who do home work on Sunday is somewhat smaller in television than non- television homes, but on weekdays, television children seem to spend approximately the same amount of time in study as non- television children of similar ages and family background. Children are substituting television for radio, cinema and reading to a significant extent. Children who have television spend more time watching it than they formerly spent with the other mass media so their total exposure to mass media has doubled.
While some television time involves a shift from other mass media to television much of it is taken from playtime and some from helping around the house, practicing musical instruments and other forms of activity which might be called “creative” or “productive”. Parents who have a television set do not feel it so rather they believe it has many advantages. First of all, they enjoy television for the entertainment value. They also find many of the programmes educational both for themselves and for their children. But beyond this, they find it helpful in taking care of the children. They say it keeps them quiet, keeps them off the streets and generally keeps them from harassing their parents. Parents very commonly use television as a “Pacifier”. The family and social