Information Minister Hasan Mahmud on Sunday slammed the cable operators which have stopped the operation of 17 ad-free foreign channels and said they will be charged with violating rules.
“Seventeen TV channels, including the BBC, CNN, Al Jajeera and Animal Planet have clean feeds in Bangladesh but the cable operators have stopped the operation of those clean feed channels, and it’s considered as a violation of the condition of the liscense. So, those who’re violating the rules will be charged with,” he said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat.
Besides, the minister said, many cable operators are involved in ‘downlink’ through piracy from foreign satellites, which is illegal.
Talking about the threat of Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) to go on a movement after October 4, the minister said, “Talking about such movement is illogical .I hope no one will be involved in any kind of activity that goes against the country’s interests, and the government won’t bow down to any pressure.”
“We didn’t stop airing the programmes of any channel and did not ask anyone to do so either. The sky of Bangladesh is open and anybody can broadcast programmes through their channels following the country’s law. According to the law, the foreign channels’ programmes can be aired without ads, and many countries follow the law,” Mahmud said.
“We had given them enough time as we started talking about it two years ago and we took initiatives to implement the law earlier. If they want, they can sit with us but the main focus will be on compliance,” he added.
Mobile court drives to stop the transmission of foreign channels’ programmes without clean feed will continue, he added.