August 10, 2022, 7:22 am

Abu Taher Bappa

2020-11-06 07:39:44 BdST

BD cable operators take Star Group channels off air

Bangladeshi cable operators have taken Star Group television channels off air after failing to resolve their dispute with pay channel provider Jadoo Vision Ltd.

The Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh or COAB had threatened to shut down the broadcast of Star channels unless Jadoo Vision re-established signal of the channels on its networks.

It subsequently stopped airing the channels, namely Star Plus, Star Jalsa, Star Gold, National Geographic and Life OK, from 6:00 pm Thursday, according to COAB's Director Anwar Parvez.

On the non-COAB members who are still broadcasting the channels, Parvez said, “We have asked them shut down the channels, and due to this, as much as 75 percent of the audience in the country and about 90 percent of Dhaka are now unable to view the channels.”

Parvez said the blackout would continue for as long as the issue remains unresolved.

Currently, four foreign pay channel network services are available in Bangladesh. Among these, Jadoo Vision Ltd has been serving as the distributor of Star Group channels in Bangladesh since 2010, conducting uninterrupted business with the company for the last 10 years

“More than 600 legal cable operators operate in the country at the moment, but a few, identifying themselves as COAB's 'Oikya Parishad', have raised several untoward issues to try and assert their dominance," said Mrinal Kunal Debnath, chief executive of Jadoo Vision.

A few operators have cornered themselves into an embarrassing situation over the boycott, said Kunal, adding,

“They have used different excuses to avoid paying their dues."

On the resolution of the dispute, Kunal said, “They are attempting to forcefully collect all the bills from cable operators under the banner of ‘One Alliance’, which is illegal.”

"We have always been keen to settle any issues. We are always open to negotiate with willing operators regarding the payment of the bills”, he added.

Addressing the information minister, Kunal said that if the government would mandate a universal subscription agreement for cable operators and pay channel providers, it would allow them to do business without any hassle while the government will also not be deprived of revenues.

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