Looks like Azerbaijan has moved from censoring news to censoring fiction. A May 1 prohibition on broadcasts of foreign TV series and films has put the kibosh on everything from Latin American tearjerker epics to HBO dramas.
Non-complying stations may face sanctions from the broadcasting regulator. Most of the television channels immediately yanked foreign series from their programming, however. That meant that many soap opera fans were forced to go cold turkey in the middle of the television season.
“I’ve been going through all the twists and turns together with the [series] characters. I feel that the characters are like members of my family,” sighed one Azerbaijani homemaker in her comments to Mir24 TV. “I think that without the television series, my life will become empty and boring.”
Like thousands of other viewers, she might have to opt for a satellite dish or cable. Or just head to Baku.