Indian television channels have been taken off air in Nepal for 24 hours in protest against a proposed bill which seeks to restrict foreign tv channels from broadcasting advertisements.
Indian television channels such as Star Plus, Colors, Zee TV, Sony TV, Star Utsav are very popular in Nepal.Except news, Nepalese viewers prefer Indian channels for entertainment.
“Kulfikumar Baziwala”, “Yeh Ristey Kya Kahlata Hai” and “The Kapil Sharma Show” are some of the most popular entertainment channels preferred by Nepalese viewers.
Internet and Digital Television Coordination Committee and Nepal Cable Television Association closed the distribution of foreign channels, broadcasting advertisements for 24 hours starting 3 PM on Monday which ended on 3 PM Tuesday.
If implemented, the Advertisement (Regulation) Bill, registered in Parliament by the KP Oli government, will restrict foreign television channels, mainly Indian channels, from broadcasting advertisements if implemented.
Indian broadcasters have already said that they cannot provide a clean feed to Nepal as it is economically and technically not viable.
The cable operators have argued that the proposed policy will cause severe drop of their income as foreign television channels will not be available for distribution.―Business Standard