Posts Tagged ‘Arasu Cable’

Arasu Cable Corporation ceases to exist in Tamil Nadu

July 26, 2009

The hope with which cable TV operators joined the Tamil Nadu government promoted Arasu Cable Corporation (ACC), promising a cheaper alternative to subscribers, at the height of the feud within the state’s first family is fast receding.

Now that the 2007 conflict between Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi’s family and his grand-nephews, the Maran brothers, has ended, cable operators, who joined the state-run entity feel they have been left in the lurch.

Industry sources say they are battling political pressure to quit ACC and join one of the larger Multi System Operators (MSO) functioning across the state. Some cable operators in Tirunelveli and Vellore complained that they had to leave ACC owing to political pressure.

ACC is now on the verge of collapse, with just one or two operators in Tirunelveli, Vellore and Thanjavur still on its network, while many quitting the cable corporation in Coimbatore from around March this year in the wake of a police complaint by ACC against the Maran-run private operator, Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) for allegedly cutting ACC cables.

A senior SCV official declined to comment on this story and asked WE to contact Kalanidhi Maran. Maran could not be reached on telephone. An email sent to his office remained unanswered.

“They (ACC) have virtually shut down operations in Vellore and Tirunelveli. All the infrastructure created by the government will end up as liabilities.” says, Shakilan, president, Tamil Nadu Cable TV Operators’ Welfare Association.

“In Thanjavur, about 200 operators are still trying to stick on to ACC but in Coimbatore, almost all cable operators have gone back to private networks. All operators want the CM to fulfill promises made to them last year and protection provided to them.” Shakilan adds.

“We still believe in the concept of ACC. Cable operators are virtually on the brink of collapse. ACC would help us survive. They have extremely good digital quality pictures and a well established network,” an cable TV operator said.

“We fear for our future in the cable business, if ACC cable does not take the steps it promised. We even asked for the equipment to be given on lease to us. But the government is not willing to do even that,” another operator in Vellore said.

Senior government officials, when contacted, indicated that some announcement was in the offing, but declined to talk about ACC’s plans. ACC was in fact expected to begin operations in Chennai in September 2008 itself, but there is no sign of the rollout happening.

Even the policy note tabled in the Assembly on Monday has no mention of the ACC’s plans for Chennai. “Arasu Cable Corporation has set up digital head-ends at Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore and Vellore utilising state-of-the-art equipment. Arasu is carrying out works in the districts to facilitate distribution of the signals,” the policy note said.

We has recently reported that Hathway Datacom, the Rajan Raheja-owned multi system operator, has discontinued its cable TV services in Chennai. TheO, which had a 10 per cent share of the city’s cable TV market, stated that SCV, had left theO with no choice but to close operations.

Arasu Cable TV Corporation launch fails to excite

September 17, 2008

Operations of the state-run Arasu Cable TV Corporation are to be launched in Tirunelveli zone covering most of the south on Monday but neither the government machinery nor the ruling party men, not even the operators, seem excited.

There have been no advertisement campaigns. The district administration has failed to print formal invitations. The media was not given information about the launch till 5 pm Sunday. Even the officer in-charge of the corporation for Tirunelveli zone, Balasubramanian was not present in his office here to oversee preparation for the inauguration.

The Tirunelveli launch was postponed twice before the government settled on September 15. The operations here along with Chennai and Vellore would be inaugurated by chief minister M Karunanidhi through video conferencing simultaneously.

Tirunelveli has been chosen as the headquarters for the south network that includes Madurai, Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Theni and Dindigul. Even the cable operators close to the ruling party are reluctant to take the Arasu feed because it does not contain popular packages from Sun TV and Star TV.

A close relative of a top DMK functionary in Tirunelveli has decided against joining the Arasu network fearing it would hurt business.

Arasu was launched as a rival to Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) owned by the Maran brothers, Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi, grandnephews of Karunanidhi, in the wake of a feud between them and the chief minister’s elder son M. K. Azhagiri. Many party men here are not showing inter est in Arasu as they are supporters of local administration minister M K Stalin, who is said to have a soft corner for the Marans.

There are technical glitches as well. Since only less than 40 per cent of the work has been completed, Arasu signals are not available in Theni, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai and Dindigul. In Thoothukudi, operators get the signal only at Kovilpatti.