The Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited (BSCL) has stopped the broadcast of private television stations SATV and Channel Nine via the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 over their failure to pay their dues for using the service.
After the move was made on Thursday night, SATV took steps to repay the arrears after which the suspension has been withdrawn, confirmed the Chairman of BSCL to IANS on Friday.
At present, 32 private and four government television stations are running through the Bangabandhu Satellite-1. Besides, DTH (Direct to Home) service is also being provided through the satellite.
BSCL Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood said, “The satellite transmission of two channels was shut down on Thursday night. The company is now taking a tough stance to recover the arrears.”
However, BSCL has not disclosed the amount that is owed by the two television stations.
Shahjahan said, “SATV has already taken steps to repay the arrears and Channel Nine has also said that it will clear the bills soon. That’s why the suspension of the channel has been withdrawn.”
“SATV is back on air from Froday noon. Channel Nine’s broadcast connection will be restored immediately after the bill is paid,” he added.
Shahjahan also mentioned that the company took the decision after the broadcasters did not pay heed to several reminders to clear the arrears.
“We have decided that those who have not paid their arrears till December last year will have their services stopped. Many channels have paid the dues. The company has shown flexibility even though it is supposed to receive the bills every month. But from now on, the company will be stricter,” he said.
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 had officially inaugurated the commercial broadcasting of television stations through the satellite.