Bassem Youssef suffers another attempt to jam show

Ahram Online , Saturday 15 Mar 2014

MBC Misr's signal suffered jamming for the second time during Bassem Youssef show Friday

Bassem Youssef
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef (Photo: Bassem Youssef official Facebook page)

Satellite TV channel MBC Misr experienced another deliberate jamming of its signal Friday during the airing of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef's El-Bernameg show.

This was the second time its signal has been jammed following a similar incident during Youssef's episode Friday last week.

"I am not accusing anyone, but I am wondering about the state's inability to protect its satellite which brings it profit from being jammed for an hour from an unknown source," said Youssef via his Twitter account after the show was aired.

The Saudi-owned channel that broadcasts from Egypt's Media Production City issued a statement introducing a new frequency following Friday's disruptions in the signal.

Youssef's third season of El-Bernameg resumed 7 February on MBC Misr after being cancelled on Egyptian satellite channel CBC in October.

It was suspended following complaints that Youssef had mocked supporters of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and allegedly insulted Egypt's military.

Egypt's general prosecution referred to investigation in Feburary fresh complaints against Youssef of insulting the armed forces, the will of the Egyptian people and the "symbols" of both Egypt and its government, thereby threatening the safety and stability of the country.

The prosecutor referred the case to Cairo's appeals prosecution, which is already looking into at least 30 complaints against Youssef since November.

The 39-year-old comedian also faced a probe under ousted president Mohamed Morsi over allegations of insulting the president and Islam.

In a February poll by Baseera — an independent Egyptian polling agency — 68 percent of respondents aged between 18 and 29 said they liked the show, up from 47 percent in October. The figure for respondents aged over 50 was 35 percent, compared to 22 percent in October.

The show has approximately 8.3 million viewers inside Egypt, Baseera said.

El-Bernameg is viewed on German-based broadcaster Deutsche Welle on its international Arabic channel and online immediately after its screening by MBC Misr.

The show is also viewed on Youssef's YouTube channel, the original home for the show, and where Youssef built a following, before it was taken up by a TV network.

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