Posts Tagged ‘Arasu Cabel’

Arasu Corp invites MSOs applications

May 24, 2008

The Tamil Nadu state-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd has invited applications from cable operators, link operators and multi-system operators to take its television signals for onward distribution to their cable subscribers in the state.

The operators are required to be registered with the local post office, have a few pay channels in their existing cable TV service with their own network or link to be eligible to submit ‘expressions of interest’.

The corporation will receive signals from broadcasters and distribute them to the consumers through the local cable TV operators. It is planning to set up ‘digital head-ends’, which would distribute signals, in six to eight cities and towns and would be feeding the TV signals with about 80 channels.

The monthly subscription could be as low as Rs 100. Brijeshwar Singh, Managing director, Arasu Corporation, had earlier said its aim was to provide high quality service at reasonable cost.

The call for expressions of interest sets in motion a process that may see a majority of the cable operators in Chennai shifting over to the government-run cable corporation from the two existing MSOs – Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), controlled by the Maran brothers, and Hathway Cable and Datacom.

Arasu cable corporation is seen as an attempt by the DMK regime to dilute the virtual monopoly that SCV enjoys in large parts of Chennai and other towns.

SCV is both a cable signal distributor and a multi-system operator under the conditional access system. The government’s corporation will perform a similar role. However, the government has clarified that its company will not affect street-end operators.

No move yet on cable TV tariff in Tamil Nadu

March 28, 2008

The Tamil Nadu cable TV operators are considering reducing the monthly tariff being collected from the public following the state government announcing the abolition of the taxes being collected from the operators by the local bodies.

Finance minister K. Anbazhagan had announced in his budget speech that the cable TV operators need not pay taxes to the local bodies. Each operator was paying Rs 72,000 per annum if his office fell within a city corporation limit and Rs 36,000 if he was in a municipality. The town panchayats charged Rs 18,000 and village panchayats collected Rs.12,000 a year from the operators within their jurisdiction. The government also wrote off Rs16 crore that the operators owed to the various local bodies across the state.

“With such a big bonanza sanctioned by the government, we are hopeful that the operators will reduce the fee they are collecting from the customers,” said Shakeela, a housewife at suburban Tambaram. The Chennaites also are harbouring similar hopes though in their case, the tariff is guided by TRAI guidelines.

“We have called a meeting of the executive council of the cable TV operators’ federation on March 30 at Cuddalore to discuss this issue and take a decision on streamlining the tariff in order to help the customers without causing a serious dent in our business,” said P Sakilan, president of the Tamizhaga Cable TV Operators General Welfare Association.

However, another operators’ representative said he was not quite sure whether the government’s sops could percolate down to the user-public.

“While the government abolished the tax we must pay, there is no clear instruction that we must reduce our tariff,” said D. G. V. P. Sekar, a Chennai operator.

Madras HC admits plea against Arasu”s cable operations

December 13, 2007

The Madras high court on Tuesday admitted a petition challenging the notification of the government-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation inviting tenders for leasing multi system operators (MSO) to conduct cable TV business in Chennai and elsewhere in Tamil Nadu.

Admitting the petition, the first bench comprising chief justice A. P. Shah and V. Ramasubramanian posted the case to December 18 for further hearing. The government cable TV company is being seen as a weapon to demolish the near-monopoly of Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) of the Maran brothers following their fallout with granduncle and chief minister M. Karunanidhi.

The petitioner, advocate R. Suresh Kumar contended that Arasu’s notification on November 30 this year was “illegal and ultra vires of the provisions of the Cable TV Network Act and Cable TV Network Rules 1994 insofar as it sought to call for tenders for the lease of MSO’s in Chennai in violation of the license conditions under rule 11 of the CTVN rules.”

Seeking an interim injunction against the notification, Suresh Kumar alleged that the state government was indulging in “illegal forbidden matters relating to exploitation of the cable TV network through leasing without undertaking the task (of MSO) on its own.”

This attempt was to “create a monopoly and prevent the existing operators in the Cable TV network both in Chennai and outside from carrying out a viable business.” The corporation was incorporated following a decision taken by the government on August 13 under the Companies Act, 1956 with the object of starting cable TV operations as MSO in Chennai and outside the city.

He claimed that MSO license was granted only to Hathway Cable & Data Com private Ltd, Indusin Media Communication Ltd and Kal Cables Pvt. Ltd in Chennai. Of them only the first and third were in operation.

The corporation was not legally authorised or competent to carry on the Cable TV network business without a license, he said.