Country scores fourth net

World Brief

NEW DELHI Bangladesh’s fourth private TV channel, RTV, went on air Dec. 26 to tap the Muslim-majority nation’s growing pool of viewers and advertisers.

RTV will present a mix of news and entertainment similar to its sister station NTV, says Mosadek Ali, chairman of both channels.

Bangladesh opened up its airways in 1995, allowing private channels to compete with state-run BTV. Cable networks now reach about 40% of the country’s estimated 92 million viewers.

Four news and entertainment channels have since jumped into the fray: ATN Bangla, Channel I, NTV and now RTV.

Rising economic growth including a spurt in the popularity of mobile phones has spurred ad spend, which has more than doubled in the past five years to $80 million.

“Television viewership is growing at a rate of 15%-20% a year. Some 66% of the country’s 140 million population now watches television,” says Shamsunanahar Tareq, head of media at ad agency Adcom.

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