Cable TV

Tamil Nadu local cable ops refuse to pay more to Arasu

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MUMBAI: Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has been constantly requesting the centre to approve the DAS licence for her state owned multi system operator (MSO) Arasu Cable. However, due to TRAI regulations, it is stuck with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

Recently, the MSO sent out a letter to its local cable operators (LCOs) demanding more money from them on the premise that LCOs have been under declaring their subscriber base. At a meeting held earlier this week in Chennai, three LCO association bodies met and informed the cable ops to be wary of this demand.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com, Chennai Metro Cable Operators Association general secretary MR Srinivasan says, “Firstly Arasu doesn’t have a licence and yet it is operating. The MIB needs to decide whether or not it wants to give it a licence. Because of this, we aren’t able to enter into any business agreements with them even though TRAI has said that there should be a valid contract between the MSO and the LCO.”

Arasu has asked its cable operators to have a fixed subscription fee of Rs 70. While keeping the subscription fee intact, Arasu has asked the LCOs that were so far paying Rs 20 per subscriber to it, to increase it to Rs 30 per subscriber. The extra Rs 10, according to Arasu is for maintenance.

Srinivasan says that though the LCOs want to enter into formal agreements, the fact that Arasu is devoid of a DAS licence is keeping them at bay.

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