Representatives of the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO), an association of private TV channel proprietors, met Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud in a meeting at the minister’s office in the Secretariat on Thursday.
ATCO senior Vice-President Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Vice-President Arif Hasan along with association directors Ahmed Jobayer, Abdul Haq, Kazi Jahedul Hasan, Ashfaq Uddin and member Nasir Uddin attended the meeting.
After the meeting, the information minister told reporters, “One of the issues presented at the heartfelt meeting is that all the mobile phone companies in Bangladesh are operating OTT platforms without licenses, creating content, promoting online and making money from it, which violates the terms of their licenses.”
“We will investigate the matter with the Department of Telecommunications, BTRC and mobile operators. If they do it illegally, action will be taken”, he added.
The minister further said, “Another issue is whether there is a need for IPTV registration. They have raised that question on behalf of ATCO. IPTV is the reality of the world. But I personally think that mushrooming of IPTV is not as appropriate. We have already allowed 14 IPTVs to register.”
“The policy on IPTV has been approved by the cabinet, which states that IPTV will not be able to broadcast news in any way, will not be able to broadcast through cable. We want to move forward with IPTV as closely as possible, not arbitrarily”, Hasan added.
Earlier, Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury on behalf of ATCO said, “About three dozen television channels are broadcasting, giving free information and broadcasting programs on the instructions of the Prime Minister. We have expressed our concern to the Minister as to whether there is a need for new IPTV approval.”
The senior vice-president of ATCO also said, “Mobile phone companies are broadcasting programs through OTT even without approval." We think it's illegal and have demanded that it be stopped. I hope the minister will give instructions in this regard.”