Friday, 27 May, 2022
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We must protect television industry: Syed Ashik

We must protect television industry: Syed Ashik

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Syed Ashik Rahman is the chief executive officer of RTV and chief of communications. The publisher and editor-in-chief of Look at Me, a monthly magazine on fashion and lifestyle, and the editor-in-chief of the news portal RTV Online.com.  

Ashik Rahman earned the ‘Gobal Brand Excellence Award’ as ‘CEO of the Year’ in 2017. He has been able to catch the attention of everyone by presenting a number of public and public awareness programmes on television.

In light of his long standing position in private satellite television in Bangladesh, he has seen the problems and prospects of this industry very closely. He  made the views while talking to daily sun recently.  

The conversations are as follows:

What do you think are the challenges of private satellite television in Bangladesh?

Ashik: Television media in Bangladesh is a very evolving industry. Currently, there are about 30 television channels broadcasting in public and private sector. Of these, private satellite television accounts for the majority. In my opinion, the first problem we face is the lack of sufficient skilled and creative workforce. Second, every private satellite television channel in Bangladesh is going through a financial crisis. As a result, television channels are shutting down various departments to reduce financial costs.

Do you think there is a shortage of content on television channels in Bangladesh?

Ashik: Financial content is involved with the creation of quality content. The countries with which we have to compete are very strong economies and their media market is quite large. They can spend enough money to create content. We do not get enough money to produce good content, so the content is relatively weak.

Can viewers easily see all the content on YouTube? The popularity of YouTube is increasing day by day in this country. Are television channels competing in another competition?

Ashik: In the current free flow of information, viewers are easily watching different content through iFlix, Netflix and YouTube. However, I don’t think television channels will compete for this. You see, television shows are seen with family members. And, shows like iFlix, Netflix and YouTube are mostly individually solo, and its user age range is from adolescence to middle age. 

Various mobile telecom companies are creating apps and promoting content through it, how do you see it?

Ashik: It is completely immoral without the government’s approval. Recently, various mobile operators are trying to earn revenue by displaying content by creating apps outside their core business. I think it should stop. The government has given them permission only for the telephone business.

What do you think should be done to overcome this dilemma of the television channel?

Ashik: The government has declared satellite television channel as an industry in Bangladesh.

Therefore, the government has to be a major initiative to protect this industry. Owners have to build this industry and provide daily living capital. Lots of that investment too! The government’s proactive steps are needed to protect this investment. Otherwise, the industry will become diseased day by day.

Currently dubbing in Bengal, foreign content is being broadcast on television, how do you see the issue?

Ashik: Our industry-related people are not benefiting in any way because of their dependence on foreign content. Ever since, I’ve been in an important place on a channel, sharing some of my hardships. I get requests from many artistes, artisans almost every day, to give them a chance to do a little work.  Besides, foreign serials are not compatible with our culture.

You have recently come forward to make films. What is the reason?

Ashik: Bangladeshi film has been having a difficult time for the past decade and a half. Bengal Multimedia seeks to contribute to the film from a place of responsibility. We think that in order to save the film industry, big enterprises in Bangladesh will have to come forward. Because the organisation has more ability to deal with risk than an individual.