Sorry Not Sorry: You Can’t Remove NaMo TV from Your Channels List
The 24-hour NaMo TV channel reportedly never applied for a broadcast licence.
The 24-hour NaMo TV channel reportedly never applied for a broadcast licence.(Photo: The Quint)

Sorry Not Sorry: You Can’t Remove NaMo TV from Your Channels List

After a few annoyed Twitter users contacted their cable and DTH service providers because they didn’t want to see NaMo TV, they found out that there was no way to delete it. An interaction between one such user and Tata Sky’s official Twitter handle has gone viral.

Screenshot of Tata Sky response to removing NaMo TV.
Screenshot of Tata Sky response to removing NaMo TV.
(Photo: The Quint)

NaMo TV – a 24-hour channel named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and exclusively covering his rallies and speeches – is being pushed by the official Twitter handles associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over the last one week. The channel went on air last week, and is available across all prominent DTH platforms.

When the user complained to Tata Sky, saying “I have not signed up for it,” he got the response, “This channel is added to all the subscribers as a launch offer. There is no option to delete the individual channel.”

There have been similar complaints by other users.

However, later in the day, Tata Sky told NDTV that NaMo TV was a regular channel and that the description of it being ‘Hindi News Service’ was “wrong.”

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NaMo TV Illegal? No Broadcast Licence, No Clarity on Who Owns It

According to a report in The Print, neither has NaMo TV obtained a broadcast license nor does it have the mandatory security clearance. This makes the channel an illegal enterprise, under the broadcast laws of the country and the first of its kind, that too.

An official in the Information and Broadcasting ministry had this to say to The Print.:

“There have been instances of cable operators airing Pakistani or Chinese channels without permission in some places but this is possibly the first time when an Indian television channel, possibly owned by a politician or a political party, has gone on air without any permission.”

Since the channel has not been registered with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, there is no clarity on who owns the channel and who is funding it.

NaMo TV is also not on the list of permitted private satellite TV channels on the ministry's website.

Election Commission in A Fix?

The Election Commission (EC) is learnt to have sought details of NaMo TV from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry after the issue was flagged by the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party. However, it has not made an official statement yet.

“Can permission be granted to a party to have their own TV channel even after model code of conduct is enforced? If no permission was sought by the EC, then what action has been taken,” the AAP had written a letter to the EC.

The EC, among other issues, is learnt to have asked about details of the launch of the channel.

According to an NDTV report, the I&B ministry is preparing a report stating NaMo TV "is not a normal channel" and it is an “advertising” platform that does not need permission from the government.

The ministry has sought time till 5 April to respond to EC.

Domain for Sale?

Amid the controversy surrounding the television channel, a domain name – namotv.com – has been put up for sale.

The website says that those interested can contact paragjshah@gmail.com for details.

The domain name was registered on 4 October 2012 and was updated again on 9 September 2018. The registration of the portal will expire on 4 October 2025, a Business Today report found out.

This is incidentally, the same day Gujarat BJP partnered with five local channels to launch NaMo TV. However, the according to a report, it was shut down the next day on 5 October 2012, only to resurface in April.

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