Viewers vexed as foreign TV channels blocked

Since the cable companies of the country have stopped broadcasting international TV channels on Monday and viewers were furious that they could not catch their favorite shows.

In accordance with a decision of the government that shows with ads on international channels can't be broadcast in Bangladesh.

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said mobile courts would be run to allow ads-free (clean feed) broadcasting of international TV channels starting October 1.

However, the Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) claims it's not possible to transmit foreign television channels through cutting ads. They have therefore stopped the broadcast.

It has angered viewers.

"I spend my weekend watching sports and international news... I'm not finding any entertaining programmes in the channels now," said Taposh Barua, a senior employee of a private firm.

"I'm an avid football fan and like me there are thousands of people who love the game. We'll miss the sports," the man declared.

There are a lot of people who love foreign soaps and shows in the United States. They also voiced their displeasure about the decision.

The section 19 of the Cable Television Network Operation Act 2006 placed an embargo on the broadcasting of ads to local viewers on foreign channels.

Even though COAB has halted broadcasting, Akash subscribers were able to stream foreign channels. Akash is a direct-to-home program launched by Beximco.

In contact, Zahidul Karim, public relations officer at BEXIMCO Holdings Limited said, "BEXIMCO group and its subsidiaries are compliant of all government rules and regulations, so Akash DTH has already taken steps to block all foreign channels one by one which don't comply with government directives."

"Akash authorities assure all responsible media outlets that by tonight, all non-compliant channels will be blocked and will remain blocked until further directives from the government comes," said the official.

In the meantime, Association of Television Channel Owners Association (ATCO) and Broadcast Journalist Centre (BJC) were pleased with the government's decision to blocking advertisements on foreign channels.

At a talk celebrating Channel i's 22nd birthday Channel i, the information minister claimed that a large amount of taka was being put into foreign channels because the operators don't implement an efficient feeds.

"Local media industry will be benefited if advertisements are not aired on foreign channels. Country's economy will get a boost," said Hasan Mahmud.

Minister also stated that the economy, media industry, culture and artists have been damaged by the absence of a clean and healthy feed. That's why the move is taken, as per in a press announcement.

SM Anwar Parvez, founding president of COAB, has stated that foreign broadcasters that air programs with ads cannot be aired within the country, according to the guidelines of the government and, therefore, they have been banned from broadcasting these.

He also said that If the government issues new directives or makes any changes in the near future, they will act accordingly.

In the statement, BJC stated that even though there was an embargo that was mentioned in the legislation but it was not implemented. measures took to enforce it.

"The government move will lessen the financial crisis of local television channels. Alongside the owners, media staffers will be benefited as well," the document reads.


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