Egypt’s Dream TV “silenced”
Dream TV is a popular entertainment channel broadcasting out of Cairo. It was one of the very first private (non-government) channels to be licensed by the former Mubarak regime.
Last week it “suspended” transmissions with an on-air caption saying that the new Egyptian government has banned the channel “despite the broadcaster’s legality”.
Dream TV has been on air since 2001, using NileSat. It is backed by local businessman Ahmed Bahgat who was said to have been close to former president Mubarak. However, the state-owned Egyptian Radio & Television Union (ERTU) is reportedly a minority shareholder in Dream TV.
Egypt’s powerful Minister of Information Salah Abdel Maqsood denied that the decision bans the channels’ broadcast, saying that only the cables connecting the channels’ studios [at the Dreamland theme park, near 6th October City] near the NileSat transmission centre, have been disconnected.
Abdel Maqsood, according to Cairo’s ‘Daily News’ newspaper stated that the only legal transmission site is the state-owned Media Production City. Former Minister of Information Mamdouh Al-Beltagy reportedly gave Dream permission to transmit from another location. Copies of the written permission were reportedly distributed among the attendees of a press conference on Saturday morning.
Owner Bahgat stated that ever since taking power, the newly empowered Muslim Brotherhood has been trying to silence the media. “But this isn’t possible, since we can transmit from anywhere around the world using satellites other than the Nile Sat.”