The government has directed TV channel distributors to stop airing foreign television channels that broadcast advertisements of local companies.
The Press Information Department issued the order yesterday, mentioning that airing of advertisements on downlinked foreign TV channels has been banned in line with section 19(13) of the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act 2006.
“The order comes into effect immediately,” an information ministry official told The Daily Star.
Punitive actions, including cancellation of no-objection certificate, permission and licence for distributing foreign TV channels, will be taken if any distributor violates the order, according to the circular.
The maximum punishment under the act is two years' imprisonment or a fine of Tk 1 lakh.
The order came following demonstrations by a group of cable TV channels -- Media Unity -- that had been demanding that local advertisements on foreign TV channels be stopped.
At a human chain in early December, Electronic Media Marketing Association (EMMA), an organisation of marketing executives of the country's television and radio stations, said local and multinational companies were choosing Indian TV channels because it was cheaper to air advertisements on those.
However, Bangladeshi TV channels are “unofficially banned” in India, said Media Unity.
Anisur Rahamn Tarek, general secretary of the EMMA, earlier told The Daily Star that 20 to 25 local companies had signed deals involving Tk 30 crore with Indian TV channels for telecasting their advertisements.