Monday, April 16, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | Bangladesh Maverick Ekushey TV Returns

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that Ekushey Television (ETV) in Bangladesh is still on air terrestrially and via satellite two weeks after getting its license back after a four year hiatus. A maverick broadcaster if ever there was one.

Staying on air terrestrially seems no mean feat in a Bangladesh where ETV was forced off air in Aug, 2002 by then-prime minister, Begum Khaleda Zia for apparently favouring her rivals in the Awami League in its programming. The broadcasting authority, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Board (BTRC) seized ETV's transmission equipment.

ETV, the country's first private TV station was awarded its original license by the Awami League government in April 2000.

Although the high court ordered the Khaleda Zia government to return transmission equipment to ETV in 2005 it never did. Yet in the meantime, a further six local, private TV networks were allowed to start broadcasting - but only via satellite distribution.

ETV's break came after Khaleda handed power to an interim government in October 2006, on completion of a five-year term in office. Just a few weeks ago the BDTC under the temporary administration government gave ETV the green light to resume transmissions.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News is still puzzled why ETV along with the state-owned Bangladesh Television are the only terrestrial (as well as satellite TV network) operators in the country.

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