Bangladesh revokes ban, but MTV, Channel V remain out of bounds

In a swift turn around on Monday, the Bangladesh government lifted its ban on 11 of the 13 satellite channels it had imposed on Sunday.

The Bangladeshi ministry of information has now decided to give broadcast permission to all but two, MTV and Channel V, according to a report in national newspaper, Daily Star. The two continue to be penalised for their ' adverse impact of alien culture on religious and social values'. The government had, after a five hour long meeting with cable ops, broadcasters and distributors on Sunday, decided to suspend broadcast of 13 satellite channels, both pay and FTA including HBO, Star Movies, Star World, MTV, Channel V, MGM, Hallmark, AXN, RAI TV, PTP, TVE, and SNTV.

The official handout, says the Daily Star, said the government reconsidered its earlier decision after reviewing the pleas by the satellite channel distributors. The distributors appealed to Information Secretary Mirza Tasadduk Hossain Beg yesterday for reconsideration of the decision, it added.

While the govenrment had gone ahead with the ban despite opposition by representatives of two distributors, Abul Khair Litu of Nationwide Communications and Humayun Majid of Translink, it has now ignored the rest of the stakeholders that include cable ops, channels, including BTV, ETV, Channel-i and ATN Bangla who supported the ban. M/S Nationwide distributes 27 out of 30 channels, while M/S Translink distributes the rest.

"It is surprising as well as suspicious that the government changed its mind so quickly," a member of the Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) has been quoted by the Daily Star as saying."

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