Following the decision of cable operators in the country to stop broadcasting all foreign TV channels, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud today said it was the responsibility of foreign channels and those who broadcast those locally to abide by the rules of the clean-feed transmission.
He also said the government was missing out on Tk2,000 crore in investment due to these unapproved advertisements on foreign channels.
Mahmud made the remarks while attending a discussion arranged by the UAE Expatriates Community at the Chattogram Shilpakala Academy marking the 75th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
"The step we have taken has been lauded by all, including the television owners' association and the Broadcast Journalists Forum. We hope that the foreign channels will send ad-free feeds to Bangladesh very soon," he said.
The information minister also said that no TV channel was barred by the government.
"Agents and operators of foreign channels have stopped broadcasting those because they cannot run clean feeds. All the foreign channels without advertisements are still operational," he added.
Mahmud reiterated that the decision to enforce the law from 1 October was taken after a meeting with representatives of foreign channels, cable operators and owners of TV channels in the country.
"We have been conducting mobile courts [to enforce the clean-feed act] since Friday," he said.
The country's cable operators stopped broadcasting all foreign TV channels on Friday upon an information ministry directive.
Starting from midnight on 1 October, viewers browsing foreign channels on their TV screens saw a message informing them that as per a government directive, no foreign channels with advertisements can be broadcast in the country until further instructions.
Cable operators across the country have been showing similar messages to their subscribers since then.
Earlier on 2 September, the information minister said the decision was taken following a meeting at the Secretariat earlier on the same day, attended by representatives of the Cable Operator Association, Association of Television Companies (ATCO), AKASH DTH (Beximco Communications), and the commerce ministry.
It was decided there that unless foreign channels provided a clean feed, they could not broadcast those channels.
Clean feed essentially means the channels cannot have any advertisements.