New Delhi: After a major controversy erupted during the Lok Sabha polls on the carriage of NaMo TV by various DTH platforms, the Information and Broadcasting ministry has sought clarification from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India regarding telecast of channels in the form of platform services. The government has sought a clarification from the broadcasting sector regulator so as to plug this “grey area” in the broadcasting sector.
The BJP and Narendra Modi government had faced severe criticism during the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls due to the telecast of NaMo TV on all DTH platforms. This newspaper was the first one to report on March 29 that NamoTV — till then operating as a YouTube channel — will be carried by all DTH platforms ahead of the polling process.
Sources stated that the TRAI has been sent a reference I&B Ministry last month wherein the regulatory body has been requested to give its recommendations related to platform services with reference to DTH guidelines on operator offering Platform Service Channels have to ensure that the same content is not shared with any other DPO. It has also sought the TRAI’s suggestions on the maximum number of Platform Service channels that a DTH operator can offer and could these Platform Service channels be sequenced separately from the regular channels. The TRAI has also issued a consultation paper seeking views of all stakeholders on the issue related to the references by the I&B ministry.
Sources stated that these “grey area” needed to be cleared as the government didn't want such a controversy to erupt in the future. Interestingly, the telecast of NaMo TV has been stopped post the Lok Sabha poll process ended. The channel was being broadcast through all DTH platforms on the Platform Services, using this “grey area” as there was no clarity regarding this section.
With the nation fully in the grip of the Lok Sabha poll campaign and Modi being the lead campaigner for the party, the BJP had felt that airing of NaMo TV would help it in reaching out to the voters across the nation. The broadcast of NaMo TV also helped compensate the BJP for the lack ofavailability of national broadcaster, Doordar-shan, for the live broadcast ofall of Modi’s rallies.
NaMo TV was a channel which is dedicated to live telecast of political rallies and speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The channel also streams compilations of Modi's speeches in the Parliament. Interestingly, broadcasts of Modi’s interaction with BJP party workers is also a regular feature.
The YouTube channel also acted as an archive for all such material related to him. BJP's campaigns for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls like #Namumkinabmumkinhai and #Mainbhichowkidar are prominently featured on the channel.