NaMo TV: The controversy continues...

NaMo TV: The controversy continues...

NaMo TV has always been amidst controversy ever since its launch on 31st March. The channel, also called Content TV, started off across various DTH platforms nationwide. But the channel doesn't appear on the Information and Broadcasting ministry's list of 901 satellite TV channels.

Both the opposition parties- Congress and AAP have grumbled to the EC on NaMo TV abusing the model code of conduct, after which EC started its test into the supposed infringement. The gatherings have asserted that NaMo TV and its substance disregard its rule of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, which prohibits religious or political advertising.

Also Read: New twist on Narendra Modis’s NaMo TV​​​​​​​

In its complaint to the EC, AAP has sought to know how permission was granted to a party to launch its own TV channel after the Model Code of Conduct was enforced. Separately, the Congress questioned if it had got clearance from the I&B Ministry.

Congress has also lodged a complaint to Election Commission against a broadcast channel named ‘Doordarshan’ for running a 84 minutes long show called ‘Main Bhi Chowkidaar’ live on DD News and also on its YouTube channel and also promoting it on their social media handles. EC has reportedly said that the “airtime coverage given to various political parties by the national broadcaster Doordarshan was disproportionate and not balanced.” The commission has asked Doordarshan to give balanced airtime coverage to all political parties.

However, since I&B Ministry has told the Election Commission that NaMo TV is a ‘platform service’, it does not require any such registration like Doordarshan channels or any other registered TV channels. DTH operators, can utilise such platform services to offer subscribers access to content ‘on demand’, like movies-on-demand, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, and interactive services such as games, education, etc., which are paid for by the endorsers.

Though these types of platforms are not punishable by the I&B Ministry, as they are not registered under them, they still do need to abide by these two laws- a) Article 19 of the Indian Constitution would come into play about what’s being shown on these platforms and b) content on such services has to comply with the Advertisement and the Programme Codes of the Cable TV Act, 1994.