The COVID-19 pandemic took everyone by surprise. No one would have predicted how we would have to literally close down our planet. The one impact of this situation we might have underrated is concerned with media. Cinemas were closed and various events were canceled, and as social distancing continues, audiences for television seem to witness a new rise. But will TV be able to provide fresh content to their viewers for long?
Every year, all of the TV channels used to be in some kind of a race to provide their viewers with engaging Ramadan transmissions. All 29-30 days of this month used to be filled with lighthearted comedy and dramas we could sit back and relax with. However, this year everyone is just trying to take it one day at a time. The media industry has come at a standstill.
The Ramadan game shows and other transmissions used to be divided into parts for broadcasting them before and after iftar/sehri. The sets were full of cheering audiences which is no more there. The shows may be going on but nothing about them matches how they panned out in the previous years. Plus, they are already being criticised for taking place anyway. But are these transmissions the only TV content that have experienced the impact of the pandemic?
The lockdown was put in place in mid-March, almost a month before Ramadan started. This also meant a permanent halt in any shooting till the situation blowed over. So, as no new dramas were filmed, it is pretty obvious that our TV channels might run out of new content to provide to their viewers. Some drama serials such as Sabaat, Kashf and Raaz e Ulfat, that are airing are still incomplete.
Hum TV’s had planned a Ramadan-special series with Osman Khalid Butt, Mira Sethi and Youtuber Arslan Naseer which did not air due to the unexpected halt in their filming. This is why they are repeating the two seasons of Suno Chanda. This has also resulted in a weaker viewership on the channel.
We are two months into the lockdown and we can already experience the lack of fresh content on TV. Most TV channels are just repeating their old drama serials. They are in a struggle to offer new content and maintain their viewership. These sure are some uncertain times.
The current situation will help us in understanding a lot of things. Specially the value of time