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Indian Zee TV Channels Go Off Air In Bangladesh

The information ministry served notices on Nationwide Media Limited and Jadoo Vision Limited asking them to explain their position on the advertisement issue on Monday.

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As the channels went off air later, facing questions from reporters on Tuesday, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud said the government did not stop the transmission of any TV channel, but it only enforced the law.

“After getting the notice from the ministry, distributors have stopped the transmission of several channels of India,” an official of the ministry told bdnews24.com.

“Mainly Indian channels that have been telecasting Bangladeshi advertisements have ceased transmission. No-one was asked to stop broadcast, but the distributors were notified that they would be allowed to air programmes in line with the law without the local advertisements,” the official said.

The Cable Television Network Act prohibits airing of advertisements of local products on foreign channels.

But some local advertisements were being aired on some foreign TV channels broadcast in Bangladesh, which is against the regulation.

“We served the notice asking to telecast without displaying advertisements. We will decide after getting the reply of the notice,” the information minister said.

“Not just local advertisements, any type of advertisements cannot be shown. This is the law of Bangladesh. There are similar laws in India, the UK and Europe,” he said.

“Huge chunks of advertisement money that could be received by Bangladeshi TV stations have gone to India,” according to Mahmud.

Unilever is expected to spend Tk 200 million annually for advertisement now taking into account that it spent Tk 150 million for advertising five years ago, the minister said.
 
“Instead the amount has dropped to Tk 50 million,” Mahmud said.
 
“The rest of the advertisements were being displayed in Bangladesh through the Indian channels, which is against the law. Accordingly, advertisements of number of companies worth ranging from Tk 5 billion to Tk 10 billion have gone to another country,” he added.
 
Earlier, the ministry had served several notices urging all cable operators of the country to stop airing Bangladeshi advertisements in foreign channels from Apr 1.
 
bdnews24.com could not reach Naveed Ul Haq of Vision Limited for comment.
 
Zee network authorities ceased broadcasting its channels in Bangladesh, an official of Jadoo Vision Limited told bdnews24.com over phone.―BD News24
 

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