All channels which have taken Bangabandhu Satellite-1 service will be disconnected if they do not pay the arrears, says BSCL chairman
The authorities suspended the broadcast of two private television channels in Bangladesh on Thursday for not paying satellite transponder fees.
The Bangabandhu Satellite Company Ltd (BSCL) suspended the broadcasting of SA TV and Channel 9 around 10:10pm. However, SA TV resumed broadcast after 18 hours while the broadcast of Channel 9 still remains suspended.
A senior journalist at SA TV said, wishing anonymity, they cleared the bills after the BSCL had sent a letter for dues. Somehow the payment was not updated which resulted in the suspension of the broadcast. They also had some technical errors and the broadcast resumed after fixing everything.
“Both the channels had long-pending dues for their transmissions through Bangabandhu Satellite-1, resulting in the suspension of their broadcasts,” BSCL Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood told Dhaka Tribune on Friday.
The BSCL did not disclose the amount of the due, but said it was not much.
Dr Shahjahan said that Channel 9 could resume broadcast on next Sunday after they cleared the bills.
Currently, 32 private television and four government television stations are running broadcasts through the Bangabandhu Satellite-1. Besides, DTH (Direct to Home) service is also being provided through the satellite.
"We have decided that the channels that have taken Bangabandhu Satellite-1 service will be disconnected if they do not pay the arrears till last December. Many channels have paid the arrears. The company has shown flexibility even though the bills are supposed to be paid every month. However, from now on, the company will be stricter in collecting the dues," the BSCL chairman added.
Bangladesh entered the space age on May 12, 2018 with the successful launch of its first commercial satellite Bangabandhu-1. In October 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially inaugurated the commercial broadcasting of television stations through the satellite.