The Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) has threatened to stop airing Star Group television channels from November 4 if Jadoo Vision Ltd does not re-establish the signal of the channels on its networks.
COAB’s founding President SM Anwar Parvez appeared at a press briefing at the National Press Club on Wednesday and said they would make good on the warning if they were not heard within the next seven days, reports bdnews24.com.
“If the Star Group signals suspended by Jadoo Vision Ltd are not re-established, we will stop airing Star Group’s Star Plus, Star Jalsa, National Geographic, Star Gold and Life OK,” Parvez said.
He said the disconnected channels included the government-approved foreign pay channels along with the free-to-air ones.
“Currently, four foreign pay channel network services are available in Bangladesh. Among these, Jadoo Vision Ltd has been serving as the distributor of Star Group channels in Bangladesh since 2010. We’ve been doing uninterrupted business with the company for the last 10 years.”
Parvez alleged that the employees at Jadoo Vision have been disrespectful towards cable operators over the last few months.
The cable operators have cleared all outstanding payments until June this year, Parvez pointed out, but Jadoo Vision began to abruptly block foreign pay channels from the operators’ channel lists in the following months on different excuses.
On these pretexts, Parvez said, “They are going for disconnection as soon as the fee of a month or two becomes due, something that had never happened before.”
The COAB president added that more than 500,000 viewers were missing out on the channels due to the disconnection of seven or eight large networks.
When asked how much payment was due, Parvez offered, “We won’t call it dues. We’re ready to pay up all the fees as soon as the issue is resolved.”
Expanding on the issue arising out of Jadoo Vision’s recent actions, Parvez said, “They are allowing some people outside the cable business to (offer the services) by using IP transit outside Dhaka. This is causing instability in the business in different regions including Chattogram. This has created trouble between these two types of businesses in different areas.”
He went on to claim that Jadoo Vision had not been issuing payment receipts against the cleared bills, which makes the business non-transparent and ultimately hurts the government’s revenue earnings.
At the press conference, COAB called on Jadoo Vision to issue receipts against renewal fee payments by the operators and resolve operators' issues through Jadoo Digital – a subsidiary of the company.
Jadoo Vision is owned by Navidul Huq, who is the son of the late mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation Annisul Huq.
Kunal Deshamukhya, the Chief Executive Officer of Jadoo Vision Ltd, told bdnews24.com, they had not increased charges for any subscription and accused the COAB of “spreading rumours about the matter”.
“The organisation’s leaders want to collect money from the association’s businessmen to pay our bills, which cannot be a proper business practice. They haven’t paid us since June,” he said.
“Quite a few cable operators owe Jadoo Vision a huge amount of money. They’ve called the movement for being unable to pay the dues,” Deshamukhya insisted.
Jadoo Vision has never failed to pay government VAT and Tax, he said. “Although channels are being subscribed to by 100 people, they show us only two in the bills. This is depriving us of money.”
Deshamukhya also claimed that Jadoo Vision had not supplied any connection outside Dhaka.
If the government would mandate a universal subscription agreement for cable operators and pay channel providers, all confusions and issues would be resolved, according to him.