SCV wins the Cable War, RCV clean bold.

Signaling a fresh battle in the war for air waves in Madurai, kinsmen M K Azhagiri and the Maran brothers flung charges against each other.

Azhagiri, elder son of Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, has launched Royal Cable Vision (RCV) recently, a cable network to rival Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), a large and influential network run by Kalanidhi Maran of the Sun TV group.

Now, RCV in an sudden change, has knocked the doors of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) seeking its help in getting Sun TV signals.

In a never-before-seen cable war, Sun TV group’s channels went off the air in many households in Madurai, a region over which Azhagiri holds sway.

“The Sun Network is refusing to give us its bouquet of pay channels. We wrote to them twice in April and May requesting them to provide their network decoders. But there is no word from their end so far. So, we have sent our lawyer to TRAI to bring the issue to its knowledge,” Azhagiri said.

Accusing Sun TV Network of denying its signals to RCV, he pointed out that it acted in contravention against TRAI’s interconnection regulation which stated that “every broadcaster shall provide on request signals of its TV channels on a non-discriminatory basis to all distributors of TV channels including cable networks.”

Azhagiri, who harbours a bitter enmity towards the Maran’s ever since a newspaper controlled by the latter published a controversial opinion poll last year in which the former’s popularity rating was pegged very low, had earlier in the month successfully prevented a possible rapprochement between Karunanidhi and his grandnephews Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi.

In its statement, SCV wondered why Azhagiri, who had snapped all ties with Sun TV and those connected with it, was so anxious to get their signals that he was prepared to approach the courts and TRAI.

“RCV has not given us the number of subscribers and cable operators, which is a pre-condition for giving signals,” an SCV official pointed out, who further said that only public pressure had compelled RCV to come asking for Sun TV signals which it had blacked out initially.

The truth was that the people, especially womenfolk, were deeply agitated that after operators went with RCV they were unable to see their favourite channels from the Sun group.


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