Posts Tagged ‘Sun Tv vs DMK’

Sun TV withdraws two cases against TN government

December 6, 2008

The patch-up among family members of chief minister M Karunanidhi and his grand nephews had an echo in the Madras high court also, with the Sun TV Network withdrawing two cases instituted by the leading broadcaster in South India.

While the first petition was directed against the government, for “unfairly” stopping advertisements to Dinakaran and Tamil Murasu, the second petition alleged that M K Azhagiri-run Royal Cable Vision was illegally tapping and supplying the signals of Sun TV. Both these writ petitions were withdrawn by the television network, which informed the court that the matter had been settled out-of-court.

When the Sumangali Cable Vision-Royal Cable Vision issue came up before justice P R Shiva Kumar, counsel for SCV submitted that he may be permitted to withdraw the petition in view of the fact that an out-of-court settlement had been reached between the parties.

The same case had hogged headlines last week after a law journal published a complete “judgement”, though no such order had been delivered by an earlier judge. The journal has now clarified that the “judgement” was published inadvertently, and that it was given to it by the office of the high court.

In the afternoon of the judgement day, when the advertisement issue came up before justice K Venkataraman, senior counsel Vijay Narayan sought to withdraw the petition. The judge accordingly allowed him to withdraw it, stating that in view of the “changed circumstances” the petitioner is allowed to withdraw it. He, however, gave the petitioner liberty to agitate about the issue, if necessary, in future.

Earlier, this week, the stock markets have also responded positively to the meeting between the promoters of Sun TV and M Karunanidhi with the scrip rising by 14% on the BSE on Tuesday. The Sun TV scrip opened on the BSE at Rs 126.05, moved to an intra-day high of Rs 153, touched a low of Rs 125.8 before closing at Rs 144.1 on that crucial day.

The meeting warmed up the relationship which had gone sour for over a year post the publication of a survey on the successor to the DMK party chief. The turn of events made the Tamil Nadu government decide on launching its own cable TV network.

However, it is unclear as of now as to what happens to the cable TV network given that Kalanidhi Maran, the promoter of Sun TV, runs a bouquet of vernacular channels, the Suryan FM radio channel, publications as well as a direct-to-home (DTH) service christened Sun Direct. Sun TV has also ventured into film production.

Kalanidhi Maran holds 77% of the Sun TV stock while T Rowe Price holds 1.43%. Kalanidhi Maran’s brother Dayanidhi Maran had been the union telecom and IT minister but relinquished the post after the relationship soured.

HC issues notice to Royal Cable Vision on Sun TV petition

July 26, 2008

Justice A. Kulasekaran of the Madras high court on Thursday ordered notice, returnable by two weeks, to the Tamil Nadu government, Royal Cable Vision (RCV) and 12 others, on a petition filed by Sun TV network Limited.

The notice directs the officials to receive its complaints against RCV and others with regard to illegal tapping of signals, register the same and take action in accordance with law.

Sun TV claimed that it was put to heavy loss due to illegal tapping of signals by the RCV, owned by chief minister’s son M. K. Azhagiri and his agents. It filed many complaints but the police either refused to receive them or take action.

This Monday, Sun TV moved high court, and a writ petition, filed by L Jyotheeswaran, authorised signatory of Sun group, contended that RCV and a group of 11 local cable television networks had been illegally tapping the signals of Sun TV and distributing them to viewers.

Camaraderie emerging between Jayalalithaa and Maran’s

June 28, 2008

There is a new but quiet camaraderie emerging between foes, AIADMK leader, J Jayalalithaa, and brothers Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi Maran.

While Karunanidhi’s family’s members are busy in a cable war with the Maran brothers, Jayalalithaa has quietly found her way into the newsrooms of Sun TV channel and Dinakaran, a Tamil Daily from the Maran stable.

Jayalalithaa’s smiling visage routinely pops up on Sun TV news channel these days and news editors of Dinakaran have stopped trashing her daily missives against the DMK government. Her anti-Karunanidhi statements are not only given prominent coverage but are always accompanied by her photographs. The Sun news channel, too, telecasts her photograph and carefully lists the main points in her statements, mostly targeting the DMK government.

At the peak of Dayanidhi Maran’s brief, high profile political career, Jayalalithaa’s name barely found mention in the newspaper or the channel, except when she came under Karunanidhi’s attack. These days, her scathing criticism against the DMK regime is an almost daily item on Sun news. In contrast, the DMK sponsored Kalaignar TV blacks out Jayalalithaa’s statements, just as Jaya TV stays mum on DMK news.

Last week, the Sun channels surprised viewers by telecasting advertisements for the MDMK’s zonal conference held in the city. MDMK leader Vaiko, an electoral ally of the AIADMK, was shown in various poses and attires, inviting party cadres for the rally.

AIADMK officials say the generous Sun coverage for Jayalalithaa began soon after she gave them big business by permitting her party men to advertise in Dinakaran on her birthday earlier this year. On February 24, the Maran-owned newspaper liberally splashed nearly all its pages with more than 20 advertisements of AIADMK men greeting their leader on her 60th birthday.

Sun TV officials had then dismissed rumours of Jayalalithaa and the Maran brothers warming up, saying it was “purely business.” Newspapers that normally published AIADMK advertisements had displeased Jayalalithaa in the current regime by taking a blatant pro-DMK stand and hence her benevolence to the Maran brothers, they said.

Sources close to Maran had also insisted that the group had tried to be ‘neutral’ when it took over the Dinakaran newspaper from the family of a veteran DMK leader about three years ago. But following protests from DMK leaders, the newspaper had decided not to carry any statement or report from the AIADMK that even remotely bordered on personal attack.

But that was before all attempts to patch up with their grand uncle proved futile. Now, clearly equations have changed and so too the political atmosphere in the Sun Group’s newsrooms.