January 22, 2006


According to this news Indian TV channels are eyeing the Rs 2.5 billion Bangladesh television market. Broadcast Worldwide, owner of the Bengali channels 'Tara News' and 'Tara Muzik' is planning to set up an ad sales office in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka. Their spokesman said:
"We have already registered ourselves in Dhaka. The permission to open a bank account in the country has also been obtained. Presently, we are awaiting the government's permission to remit revenue back to India."
Because of no restriction these channels are gaining enough viewer ship in Bangladesh to attract local advertisers to place their ads. Whereas, Bangladeshi satellite channels are not being allowed to being aired in neighboring India. Apparently the Indian cable TV cartels, backed by the Indian advertisers are not allowing the feeds to the Indian subscribers. In 2002 Bangladesh's move to ban certain Indian channels were widely criticized by the media and Bangladesh lifted the ban immediately. However the mainstream media never talk about the unofficial ban of Bangladeshi channels in India. Even the recent Pak ban on Indian channels caused an uproar.

Some say that it is a ploy to restrict entrance of Bangladeshi manufactured goods in India as TV advertisements are an effective marketing tool. The Indian manufactures are leveraging Bangladeshi viewer ship of the Indian channels as they do not have to spend additional money to capture Bangladeshi consumers attentions. As far I know in West Bengal, Bengali viewers are keen to watch Bangladeshi TV programs just as Bangladeshis are interested in the programs of Indian Bengali TVs. So why they are not demanding to lift the ban and why Bangladeshi government is not doing anything about it?

Now there are many Bangladeshi satellite TV channels on air. The established ones are ATN Bangla, Channel I, BTV, NTV and the newer ones like STV (US), RTV, and on test transmission Channel 1, Bangla Vision & Baishakhi TV.

These channels are trying to improve the standards of the program and are offering variety and choices to the Bengali viewers. It is strange that we are yet to see any response of the Indian viewers whereas some of these channels are doing great in overseas markets like USA and Europe.

I am waiting to see how Bangladesh government deals with this inequality.


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