ATCO greets Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud for taking steps to implement clean feed

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The leaders of Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO) today greeted Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud for taking steps to implement ad-free (clean feed) foreign TV channels broadcasting. They greeted the minister at a meeting held at the meeting room of his ministry at the secretariat here. Information and Broadcasting Secretary Md Mokbul Hossain was present at the meeting.

ATCO president Anjan Chowdhury, senior vice president Mozammel Haque Babu, DBC24 Channel chairman Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Somoy TV managing director Ahmed Jubair, Dipta TV managing director Kazi Zahidul Hasan, Desh TV deputy managing director Arif Hasan and DBC24 Channel chief editor Manjurul Islam, among others, were present. In his speech, Hasan said that the government has been working to implement ad-free (clean feed) foreign TV channels broadcasting for the interest of the country, its people and the media industry as well. “It’s never desirable that someone will stand against the interest of the country and its people or do advocacy in favor of those persons who are against the country’s interest and break the law,” he said.

Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary, extended thanks to all mass media concerned, artists and other performers to support the act. He said that several meetings were held with all stakeholders to implement the ad-free (clean feed) foreign TV channels broadcasting over the last two years. And a unanimous decision was taken at a meeting held on August that the act will be implemented from October 1, he added. But, he said, a group was trying to create confusion on this issue. “I hope that they will refrain from spreading confusion. The government is determined to implement the law. We could never do this work, if the prime minister would not give us courage,” he added.

The minister said that the space of Bangladesh remains open. The government of the country did not shutdown any channel and also didn’t ask to stop any channel, he added. He said that the channels of the country can make good programmes. “I think, it is not desirable to do advocacy in favor of those foreign TV channels which don’t care our law and show thumbs down. Our door is open to all channels. But, they should must obey the country’s law,” he added. The minister said that ‘Akash’ and ‘DTH’ are broadcasting those foreign TV channels which come here through the clean feed. “There were some allegations that the operators were not broadcasting about 24 foreign channels come here through the clean feed. It is the violation of the cable operator’s license and if anyone violates the conditions, he will be charged for the crime,” he added.

Hasan said that the act of broadcasting ad-free foreign TV channels exists in almost all countries across the globe including India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Europe and the United States. And the foreign TV channels are broadcasting by maintaining the existing laws in those countries, he added. On the other hand, he said, it is a part of ill attempts of creating confusion as it will be needed big investment or technical facilities for sending clean feed.

The foreign channels have agents in the country and the responsibility of sending clean feed on the concerned channels and their agents, he added. He said that the agents took approval for downlink channels for their business interest and the condition of clean feed was mentioned in the license. And the cable operators also took the license by obeying the condition, he added. He said that steps would be taken if anyone violates the act, condition or try to create confusion. Hasan said that another decision was taken along with all stakeholders including the cable operators to digitalize the cable operating system at Dhaka and Chattogram from November 1. “I hope that everyone will try to follow the deadline for the country’s interest,” he added. Mokbul said, “I talked to all deputy commissioners through video conferencing and the government is prepared to implement the clean feed act.”

Anjan said that it was the core demand of implementing clean feed. Everyone should think better interest of the country, he added. Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said that there was a directive that those channels which come here through clean will be broadcasted here. But the cable operators stopped all channels which gave the wrong message to abroad, he added. Babu extended thanks to the information and broadcasting ministry for stopping the unstable situation in TRP issue.

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