Monday, February 9, 2009

Banned cable TV channels back

9 February, 2009 - Almost five years after the government restricted the number of TV channels to 33, the Bhutan infocom and communication authority (BICMA) has approved the airing of some additional music and sports channels by cable operators in Thimphu.

In 2004, after a media impact study, the then Bhutan communication authority restricted many cable TV channels from being broadcast in the country on the ground that these channels aired excessive violence, glamorised drugs, and showed explicit content. Music channels like MTV, channel V, Zee music, the fashion channel FTV, and a sports channel, Tensports, were banned.

The additional channels allowed are Zee music, MTV, STC music, S1, S2, and channel V. According to BICMA’s head of telecommunications, Wangay Dorji, cable operators were also asked to reinstate Tensports. However, he said that the authority had warned cable operators to refrain from airing channels that broadcast explicit or violent content.

Meanwhile, with BICMA legalising, in principle, the direct-to-home (DTH) technology, popularly known as dish TV, many TV viewers are waiting for the go-ahead to purchase DTH sets, while some are already using it.

Cable operators, aware of this, have requested BICMA to develop a proper system, which will balance the services of the cable as well as DTH television systems.

Wangay Dorji said, “In principle, DTH television has been regularised since November 25 last year, but we’re still working on the modalities regarding the content of the channels available.”
“The public and the stakeholders will be consulted once a proper system has been formulated,” said Wangay Dorji, adding that same content should be available by both services. “If there’s going to be a restriction on DTH television services, there will also be restrictions on cable television.”
By Kunzang Choki
Source: Kuensel

No comments: