ETV off air after airing Tarique's speech
The country's cable operators, mostly loyal to the ruling Awami League, allegedly stopped the transmission of private television channel ETV yesterday afternoon for giving “excessive” coverage to BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman.
ETV went off the air around 2:00pm, and became unavailable all over the country within the next one hour, said sources in the network.
They said the ruling party men, especially Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), got furious because ETV had live telecast Tarique's speech from London for 50 minutes from 1:30am and relayed it several times.
Senior Reporter of the TV Sajed Romel said there was no problem with uplinking; it lay with downlinking, which the cable operators controlled.
He claimed that the transmission was restored in some places in the evening, and the channel could be seen countrywide soon.
However, broadcasting was not fully restored till filing of this report at 1:30am today.
An official of the Prime Minister's Office said there was no instruction about blocking its transmission but said ETV was doing it to "excess".
Sources in the government said ETV might face legal action under the ICT act for giving too much coverage to a person wanted in over a dozen cases, including criminal ones.
“It can be considered propaganda and collaboration with Tarique Rahman,” an AL leader told The Daily Star.
A top BTRC official told The Daily Star last night that there was no instruction from the government, and BTRC had nothing to do with the blocking TV's transmission.
Anwar Parvej, president of the Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB), was not available for comment.