Posts Tagged ‘SCV’

Hathway Datacom discontinues its services in Chennai

July 19, 2009

Hathway Datacom, the Rajan Raheja-owned multi system operator (MSO), has discontinued its cable TV services in Chennai. Employees who were working at Hathway’s Chennai office have confirmed the development.

The MSO, which had a 10 per cent share of the city’s cable TV market, stated that Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), a division of Sumangali Publications Ltd, which owns a major chunk of the Sun TV network, had left the MSO with no choice but to close operations.

SCV is an MSO offering services on the conditional access system (CAS) in Chennai and Hathway was its only rival. There are around 4-5 lakh subscribers in the city, with more than 1,000 cable operators, according to industry representatives.

P. S. Lakshmanan, who looks after Hathway’s Chennai operations, declined to comment on the development, when queried by us. Hathway officials in Mumbai were also unavailable for comments despite repeated attempts were made to contact them.

Last year, In Chennai, Hathway had issued about 50,000 free set-top boxes (STBs) worth about Rs 50 crore. A spokesperson of Cable TV Urimayalaargal Sangam, an association of the cable operators, said that the company failed due to mismanagement and aggressive investment in STBs and promotional offers of free boxes.

With Hathway stopping operations in Chennai, SCV is expected to have a monopoly. SCV, a network owned by Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran of the Sun TV group, has a market share of 90 per cent in the city.

In Tamil Nadu, the DMK Government had also started an MSO called Arasu Cable Network, which everyone thought would take over the entire cable TV industry, including SCV and Hathway. But, after a patch-up between the Maran’s and Karunanidhi’s families, the takeover plan was not initiated and Hathway began to face resistance from SCV.

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Zeel launches Tamil channel Zee Tamizh

October 16, 2008
Following the launch of Zee Telugu and Kannada, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) has launched its third channel Zee Tamizh in the South. The channel which hit the airwaves on Sunday, 12 October, will fight with 25 plus other Tamil language channels.
The channel has lined up serials, game and reality shows, music programmes, cultural shows and movies along with three news bulletins everyday.
Zee Tamizh business head V Chandrasekaar said, “The channel would have the right mix of entertainment and news content. The channel had a good library of movies and the broadcasting rights of 40 per cent of the Tamil films released this year so far had been secured.”

The channel will have Kushboo’s Rudra, K Balachander’s Sollathaan Ninaikkiraen, Azhangana Rakshasi and Avalukendru Oru Manam, apart from Tamil version of Sa Re Ga Ma.

Zee Tamizh, a pay channel, will be available in Dish TV and multi-system operators (MSOs) and government-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation. The channel, however, is not available on Maran-owned Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), the dominant MSO in the state.

Royal Cable Vision takes on Sumangali Cable Vision

June 13, 2008

Tamil Nadu’s never-ending cable wars saw a new chapter opening at Madurai on Monday as the state chief minister’s son M. K. Azhagiri’s Royal Cable Vision (RCV) was launched with great fanfare. RCV targeted the Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) of the Maran brothers, which has been reigning supreme in most parts of the state till now. With the local cable operators told to shift loyalty from SCV to RCV, there is big confusion in the temple town and other southern districts. Caught in the crossfire is the Arasu Cable Television Corporation, which, incidentally, closed applications on Monday from cable operators willing to hitch on to the bandwagon of this state owned entity. “Azhagiri’s aim is to black out Sun TV from all cable operators receiving signals from RCV and promote Kalaignar TV in its place. Jaya, Vijay and Raj will be shown on RCV but not Jaya’s other channels like Plus and Max. But we are confident that public pressure will force them to end up showing Sun TV as well,” commented an SCV official. According to DMK, all party MLAs in South Tamil Nadu have been instructed to persuade cable operators in their area to switch over to RCV in the coming days. The police in Madurai and neighbouring areas have also received unofficial instructions to lend their muscle to ‘operation enlistment.’ “What the SCV did in the past, RCV is repeating now,” quipped a DMK functionary. The arrival of RCV is bound to eat into SCV’s estimated subscriber base of seven lakhs in Madurai and four lakhs in Tirunelveli. More importantly, RCV will be the vehicle to promote Kalaignar TV, which could not make much of an impact even eight months after launch last year. With these two cable networks fighting it out for operators and subscribers, the Arasu Cable Corporation is in a quandary how to proceed in such a strife-torn scenario. To be on the safe side, Arasu has decided to roll out its services initially at Thanjavur, Vellore and Coimbatore, where RCV is not in the fray. What ever may be the issue finishing on SCV will be a dream for ever, and the suffers are the people public.

Sun TV continues off air in Madurai

June 13, 2008

The poaching by Royal Cable Vision (RCV) into Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) territory increased to a staggering 70 per cent in Madurai city forcing more number of viewers to miss Sun TV’s bouquet of channels. With SCV refusing to give its Sun network signals to RCV, the cable war is only building up by the day.

”We have not compelled anyone to shift from SCV to RCV. The cable operators, who were suffering at the hands of the SCV until now, have grabbed the opportunity after the launch of RCV. Cut up by SCV’s monopoly, the cable operators have volunteered to come under the RCV fold,” RCV officials said.

With 30 head-end operators and 450 link operators, the city has two lakh cable connections. After chief minister M. Karunanidhi’s son Azhagiri launched RCV in the city on Monday, the monopoly of Maran-owned SCV has suffered a severe setback within 74 hours.

Despite SCV refusing to relay its pay channels through RCV, the cable operators are increasingly moving towards the latter unmindful of the viewers who have been denied the opportunity to watch their favourite programmes on Sun.

But the cable operators seem to be happy now. ”They (SCV) have been dictating terms thus far. And we have all along obliged them. Now, it is a turnaround situation where we have been invited by RCV management to share even its profits,” A. M. Kannan, General secretary, Madurai Cable TV Operators Association, said.

Azhagiri has asked the operators to collect charges ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 130 for a cable connection depending upon the locality.

An SCV official said that RCV’s blackout of Sun TV channels has only resulted in a huge demand for Sun Direct. “We are moving additional equipment and technicians to Madurai to meet the demand, which only proves that people want to watch Sun TV at any cost,” he said.

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.

SCV-Hathway fight enters crucial phase

February 2, 2008
The much-gossiped spat between the Maran brothers and the family of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi seems to be reaching a contentious corner in the place where it matters the most — the control of the strategically-vital channel distribution and TV entertainment.

The Sun group, which spread its wings thanks to political patronage and heavy-handed support on the streets, is now forced to face the same music as its lifeline is sought to be cuff.

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In what seems to be a multi-pronged strategy by the forces that want to blunt the Sun Group’s edge has slowly started to edge out SCV — the Sun Group’s all-powerful and all-important distribution arm —— in the market with the other sole MSO, the Hathway.

In places like Perambur and in the outskirts of the city, Hathway, without any preamble or announcement, has taken over the rights of distributions in the place of SCV.

A top level DMK leader, with huge support base in the area, is said to have facilitated this controversial switch-over.

This change should be seen in the context of the Kalaignar TV being started to rival Sun TV and also the government announcing a cable distribution company, Arasu Cable Corporation.

Hathway had hitherto struggled to compete against the SCV and had only a piffling presence in the city —— hardly 10 percent of the market. But now, with an image that it is being backed by forces that are politically very powerful, it has now managed to make more meaningful dent in the market.

Sources say that the Hathway authorities have managed to meet cable operators individually and convince them to switch connections overnight.
More than 60 operators in and around Perambur, Villivakam and Adyar have been shifted from SCV to Hathway.

Talking to News Today, Lakshmanan, deputy general manager, Hathway, denied getting any support from the ruling regime.

‘We know that there is a problem running between them (Sun and the ruling party). Until recently, everyone knew the kind of support that the Sun TV Group enjoyed. It was difficult for us to compete with them then. But now with the support line cutoff, the battle line is clearly drawn on a level-playing field and we are ready to take them on’.

In an aggressive strategy, which the SCV is finding hard to match, Hathway is distributing Set Top Boxes (STBs) free of cost. Further, it also provides 25 per cent revenue on each pay channel to the operator. This has become an instant hit among the operators and the consumers. ‘As a result, in the past one month, we have grown by 100 per cent in Chennai city’, he said.

The offer by Hathway Cable TV Network to function as a Multi-System Operator (MSO) in Chennai through Tamilnadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (ACTVC) is also an attempt only to regain our lost ground and no political should be attached to it, he said.

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.