Scatmag.com

July 2019

NEPAL CABLE BLACK OUT FOR A DAY



All Cable TV networks in Nepal shut down operations for a day, on 24th June, to protest against the government's proposed "Advertisement (Regulation) Bill."

As a result of the blackout, TV viewers were unable to watch the Afghanistan vs Bangladesh World Cup Cricket 2019 match.



PROMOTING LOCAL INDUSTRY

The government has proposed a bill, that intends to promote local TV channels and Nepali content creation.

This was in response to requests from the local industry, which complained that they were overshadowed by Indian TV channels.




PROPOSED BILL

The Advertisement (Regulation) Bill has a couple of stern clauses:

  1. Foreign channels, including those from India will not be permitted to carry any advertisements.
  2. All foreign channels must set up separate companies in Nepal, to handle business in that country.

The bill is currently under discussion in Nepal's lower house.


VIEWS OF FOREIGN CHANNELS

Indian and other foreign channels have conveyed to the Nepali Government that because of the small number of Nepali viewers and miniscule revenues from these viewers, it would not be financially viable to separately uplink and downlink feeds for Nepal, that did not contain advertisements.

Foreign channels have said that they would have no choice but to stop distribution of their channels in Nepal.


LOCAL OPS PROTEST

About 85% of channels airing in Nepal are Foreign channels.

Cable operators in Nepal realise that they would lose their livelihood if Foreign channels withdrew from Nepal.

"We took this step to show consumers & the government the effect of the legislation the government is trying to impose. This was the sample of how the televisions will look like if it is implemented," Internet and Digital Pay TV Co-ordination Committee said in a release. n