The move came in line with a previous government directive, say operators
Millions of television viewers in Bangladesh could not watch any foreign TV channels as the government yesterday asked the cable operators to halt the service until “clean feed” was ensured.
The operators intercepted the channels in line with the policy that advertisements on foreign channels, meant for the respective countries, cannot be shown in Bangladesh.
As the operators do not have such technology to cut off the advertisement from the programs aired by the foreign channels, they stopped broadcasting the channels.
However, a source at the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said that some foreign channels had already agreed to transmit “clean feed” for Bangladesh. Those will be unlocked soon.
“Many are thinking that the cable operators have stopped airing some channels for some reason. But it happened due to a government directive,” said Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (Coab) President SM Anwar Parvez.
He added that it would continue until further directives from the government.
“We have talked to our local cable operators. The foreign channels have been blocked at the grassroots levels as well,” he told Dhaka Tribune.Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said no one would be allowed to run foreign TV channels without “clean feed” in the neighboring countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.
“I informed the matter of implementing clean feed broadcasting to my Indian counterpart during my recent visit to India.”
The minister on Thursday said that mobile courts would be conducted to ensure the decision. “Legal actions will be taken against the distributors and operators who have the downlink approval of those channels.”
He added that the cable operators had been informed about the decision in August. “The excuse of foreign channels not sending clean feeds will no longer be tolerated,” said the minister.Why was this decision taken?
The foreign channels, especially the ones of the sub continent, were given permission to air in Bangladesh, were asked to provide advertisement-free contents.
“But they have been violating the condition,” said Ruzina Sultana, deputy secretary [TV-2] of Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
“They are showing advertisements here but not paying taxes. There have been talks over the issue but no progress. So, we asked them to telecast ad-free contents in Bangladesh,” said Ruzina, who is coordinating the matter.
The decision to not allow advertisements was taken at a meeting on September 16.
Later, the government sent a notification to the operators giving the deadline.