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Legal notice served to resume foreign TV channels

A legal notice has been sent to the information secretary and the convener of cable operators association of Bangladesh (COAB) demanding necessary steps within seven days for the retelecasting of all foreign channels in Bangladesh.

Khundkar Hasan Shahriyar, a Supreme Court lawyer, on Sunday sent the notice saying he would take legal actions, including filing of a writ petition, against the respondents in case of showing no response to his legal notice.

The lawyer said also in its notice if the foreign channels are asked to implement ad-free (clean feed) broadcasting then the authorities will have to maintain the same policy in case of the domestic TV channels.

“It was a hasty decision to stop broadcasting without any discussion with foreign channels on how to continue broadcasting in Bangladesh with a clean feed. As a result, millions of people in Bangladesh are being deprived of the opportunity to watch foreign channels even with the required fee,” also read the notice.
Stopping the broadcasting of the foreign channels has reduced the people’s entertainment facility which is contrary of the Constitution, read the notice, adding that the standard of the programs of the domestic TV channels is very low.

According to the existing Bangladeshi law, foreign channels cannot broadcast advertising. As per the law the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting recently issued an instruction saying that foreign channels with advertisements will not be allowed to broadcast in Bangladesh from October 1.
From midnight of 1 October, viewers browsing foreign channels on their TV screens saw a message informing them that as per a government directive, no foreign channel with advertisements can be broadcast.

Therefore, cable TV operators had to refrain from broadcasting foreign channels until further instructions, according to the message. Cable operators all across the country are showing similar messages to their subscribers. The New Nation

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