Cable TV

After Tamil Nadu, Karnataka state govt eyes cable TV business

MUMBAI: Even though the demand for getting the Digital Addressable System (DAS) licence for J Jayalalithaa run Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) is still pending with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B), there is another state government that is looking at entering the cable TV industry.

The Karnataka state government Minister for Information, Public Relations and Infrastructure R Roshan Baig has been making headlines after his conference where he expressed interest in setting up cable television system, provided the Centre permitted it.  In the meeting, the Minister said that the Ministry has been receiving complaints from consumers who have to pay Rs 400-Rs 500 for cable TV service.

Baig in the conference, while applauding the model of Arasu Cable in Tamil Nadu, said that the Karnataka government will also apply the same module, where consumers won’t be paying more than Rs 100 per month for the cable TV channels.  

In response to the statement, Karnataka State Cable TV Operators’ Association (KSCOA) met the Minister to apprise him of the situation. “We told him that in the Rs 70 that Arasu charges for its services, it gives only free to air and regional channels, while the others give all the leading channels, which is what the consumers want,” informs Karnataka State Cable TV Operators’ Association spokesperson Sudhish Kumar adding that they have also addressed the matter to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman Rahul Khullar.

“Khullar in his address to the media has already made it clear that any government body or agency getting into the cable TV or distribution business is against the rules,” adds Kumar.

“But, if it still happens, we will move the court,” he states.

The association has suggested that the government could through DD Freedish give cable services at a lower tariff.

The multi system operators (MSOs) in the region are shocked with even the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam backing the demand for DAS licence for Arasu Cable.

In order to ensure that the Karnataka government does not get the nod from the Centre, the South Indian Federation will be meeting the I&B Minister Arun Jaitley. “We are seeking his appointment and could be meeting him between 21 January to 23 January,” informs Kumar while adding that they want the I&B Minister to come out with his clear statement on the matter.

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