Home India Politics Arasu Cable TV revived to break ‘one family’s monopoly’: Jayalalithaa

Arasu Cable TV revived to break ‘one family’s monopoly’: Jayalalithaa


Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Friday said the commencement of operations by Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd (ACTVL) again will break the monopoly of “one family” in this business and the common man can get cable connection at far cheaper rates.

“A monopoly system exists in the cable television distribution business and people were being charged high rates. As a result, one family is profiteering due to the monopoly situation,” she said without naming the family of Kalanithi Maran – DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s grand-nephew – whose Sun TV has had a virtual monopoly.

Relaunching the near defunct company’s operations through video conferencing facility from the state secretariat here, she said her AIADMK had promised that the monopoly will be broken and there will be a level playing field for all the operators.

In turn, people would be given cable connections at cheaper rates, she said, adding cable operators would collect only Rs.70 from each household for 90 channels.

“There will be a saving of around Rs.70 to Rs.100 for each household,” Jayalalithaa said.

Around 34,350 cable operators and multi-system operators (MSO) with a subscriber base of round 14.5 million have become part of ACTVL, Jayalalithaa had said in the state assembly last week.

She said the company would beam television signals from its four head-ends at Coimbatore, Thanjavur, Tirunelvelli and Vellore and later expand to other districts.

The revival of ACTVL is expected to hit Sun Cable Vision (SCV) which is a near monopoly in the state’s cable business. The MSOs are a cash cow of the Sun TV group, owned by Kalanithi Maran.

This is AIADMK’s second attempt to nationalise the cable TV business after 2006. At that time too, the idea was to take over the business of MSOs, who feed satellite television signals to neighbourhood cable TV operators.

The target then too was seen to be SCV.

The government’s attempts did not succeed as the then Governor Surjit Singh Barnala returned the bill as the subject fell under the purview of the union government.

The DMK government had launched the ACTVL in 2008 after the Maran brothers – Kalanithi and Dayanidhi – fell foul of Karunanidhi’s family. A subsequent family patch-up resulted in the ACTVL becoming near defunct.