Dhaka, January 3 (The Daily Star): The Bangladesh government has ordered TV channel distributors to stop providing foreign television channels that broadcast ads of local companies.
The order will affect India-based channels the most.
According to Anisur Rahman Tarek, General Secretary of the Electronic Media Marketing Association (EMMA), 20 to 25 local companies have signed deals with Indian TV channels for telecasting advertisements worth Taka 300 million.
The Press Information Department issued a circular on Monday in this regard under Bangladesh Cable Television Network Act 2006. “The order comes into effect immediately,” an official of the information ministry said. .
Those who will violate the order will face legal actions including the cancellation of the approval or license for distributing foreign TV channels, according to the order. The highest punishment under the act is two-year imprisonment or Taka 100,000 fine.
The order came following demonstrations by an organization called Media Unity. It argued that local TV channels are facing financial loss as local companies are choosing cheap foreign TV channels which can be downloaded illegally.
The Electronic Media Marketing Association, an organization of marketing executives of the country’s television and radio stations, in a human chain early in December said local and multinational companies are choosing Indian TV channels because airing ads on them is cheaper.
Media Unity points out that Bangladeshi TV channels are unofficially banned in India.