NaMo TV goes off air as Lok Sabha elections conclude
NaMo TV, a channel on the air since March 31 that exclusively featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s past speeches and content related to the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) went off the airwaves on May 17, according to executives of two direct-to-home (DTH) operators who asked not to be named.
“The broadcast stopped 2-3 days back. We stopped receiving signals from the source on the Internet which was operated by the BJP,” said a top executive of a leading DTH operator.
A second executive from a different DTH operator said the channel has been off air since May 17 across all DTH platforms - the day campaigning ended for the 17th Lok Sabha elections.
Confirming this, BJP’s social media head Amit Malviya said “the channel went off air effective May 17 when all campaign was to be paused”.
According to the first person cited above, the BJP paid DTH providers ~25 lakh per month to air the channel for these two months. The channel, which carried a picture of Modi as its logo, was on air when polling for the general election was underway, leading to protests from opposition parties.
On April 11, the Election Commission directed NaMo TV to not air any content that has not been pre-certified by the panel mandated to certify or authorise political ads. The order further stated that all political advertisements and all recorded programmes with political contents were mandatorily required to be pre-certified by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee.
Both the Union ministry of information and broadcasting and DTH operators said NaMoTV was not a licensed channel but a DTH advertisement platform.
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