December 25 marks the 55th birthday of state-owned Television Network Bangladesh Television (BTV). A special musical programme named "Pop Tune'' is going to be aired for celebrating the day.
Produced by Monirul Hasan and written by Sumon Saha, the programme will include several famous pop singers of Bangladesh. The music will be directed by Fuad Naser Babu, there will be several songs of late musician Azam Khan, Pilu Mamtaz, Lucky Akhand, Happy Akhand and Ayub Bachchu. Ferdous Waheed, Fakir Alamgir, Kazi Hablu, Nasim Ali Khan etc will be other singers from the program.
Set to be aired today at 8 pm after the Bengali news in BTV. In the post-independence Bangladesh, Azam Khan, Ferdous Waheed, Fakir Alamgir and the likes were all the rage. The programmes, including one off dramas and drama serials, set a standard that still seems unmatchable in the age of private channels and streaming services.
BTV started its journey on December 25 in 1964 in the name of Dhaka Television, first of its kind in the subcontinent. It started broadcasting as Pakistan Television in what was then East Pakistan on 25 December 1964. It was renamed Bangladesh Television after the independence in 1971.
Bangladesh Television started broadcasting on December 25, 1964. It was established with a purpose to provide wholesome home entertainment and educational programs.
The very first drama which was aired was written by Munier Chowdhury, titled Ektala Dotala. It was aired in 1965.
The quality work kept coming out of the state-owned TV station. Throughout the 70s and 80s, BTV enthralled audiences of all ages with its innovation and quality.
BTV started colour transmission in 1980 through a programme named Desher Gaan produced by Selim Ashraf. In 2004, BTV launched its satellite transmission under the name of BTV World.
During its heyday, BTV had the likes of Mostafa Monwar, Atiqul Haq Chowdhury, Humayun Ahmed, Fazle Lohani as the brains behind their programmes.
Though made on shoe-string budgets, these programmes bore the telltale sign of the visionary producers who worked hard to ensure high-value contents for home and family viewing.
Some of the popular fiction, non-fiction works from that era are still popular amongst the audience for their quality of content, choice of language and artisitc prowess.
In this age of online content, viewers still hold Rokto Korobi, Bohubrihi, Jodi Kichu Mone Na Koren, Notun Kuri in very high regard.
Unfortunately, during the advent of satellite TV in Bangladesh in the early 90s, BTV started losing its ground due to unfair competition it began to face. In fact, BTV could not hold the ground against the barrage of entertainment options provided by the likes of Star and SET networks. Both of these entertainment giants of the subcontinent still rules the roost in terms of TV viewing in Bangladesh.
In the last decade, with the global influx of digital content, BTV began to look like a valedictorian. Slowly but surely it has fallen out of favour.
But, the national TV channel still holds a very special place to the generation who grew up in the first three decades after independence. As the names like Eishob din raatri, Kothao keu nei and Shongshoptok resonated with a generations of viewers, BTV still stand quality and good taste in the national consciousness.