ATN Bangla ‘ATN’ is an acronym for the defunct Asian Television Network, a Bangladeshi Bengali-language satellite and cable television channel owned by Multimedia Production Company. It is located in Kawran Bazar, Dhaka, and is the country’s first satellite television channel, broadcasting globally. ATN Bangla started broadcasting on 15 July 1997. In 2001, the channel began broadcasting to Bangladeshi diaspora in Europe. Mahfuzur Rahman is the managing director and chairman of the channel.
ATN Bangla was the first Bangladeshi privately owned television channel to officially receive a broadcasting license. It officially started airing on 15 July 1997 by lighting “Obiram Bengalar Mukh”. ‘The Face of Eternal Bengal’) slogan. The channel started broadcasting news in August 2001.
In 2004, ATN Bangla won the International Children’s Day Broadcasting Award at the 32nd International Emmy Awards for Amrao Pari (Amra Pari). The documentary was shot and directed by eighteen Bangladeshi teenagers, and focused on the story of Abul Khair, a 9-year-old boy who stopped a passenger train near a deserted railway track and prevented a train disaster. In 2007, Doll’s House, the first Bangladeshi soap opera targeting a female audience, premiered on ATN Bengali.
On 7 June 2010, ATN Bengali’s sister channel, ATN News officially went on air. In November 2011, ATN Bangla, along with three other Bangladeshi television channels, signed an agreement with UNICEF to broadcast children’s programs for one minute. In 2016, the channel was reprimanded by British telecoms regulator Ofcom for breaching domestic product placement rules (which require placements to be “editorially justified”, not establish “undue prominence” and be disclosed on-air). ATN Bangla tried to defend the violations by arguing that its local subsidiaries did not directly benefit from the placement (as the brands placed do not operate in Europe), but Ofcom still held the channel liable for violating its broadcasting code. In June 2018, Dipankar Deepan’s debut film Dhaka Attack had its world premiere in ATN Bengali.