Cable TV

Arasu can't operate outside Tamil Nadu despite DAS compliance

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NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu government-owned multi system operator (MSO) Arasu TV Corp has been told by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) that it cannot operate outside of Tamil Nadu despite having a provisional MSO licence.

The MSO was granted the provisional licence in April this year and was given several extensions to prove that it had become fully digital addressable system (DAS) compliant. Arasu claimed to have gone entirely digital by 1 September 2017.

Godfather Communication is another MSO that can only operate in Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. Godfather’s registration is dependent on a court verdict in which it had challenged the MIB’s cancellation of its provisional registration for in Amritsar.

There are just 1471 MSOs even after seven months of DAS in the country. Apart from Arasu and Godfather, the remaining 1469 provisional licence holders have been permitted to operate anywhere in the country, according to the list of MSOs as on 31 October 2017 placed on the MIB website.

Early this year, the government had said all provisional MSOs will be deemed as having regular licences. They were also free to operate in any part of the country.

The MIB had earlier this year told indiantelevision.com that it had been made clear to Arasu that the provisional licence was subject to the centre taking a final decision on the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that no government-owned body should be permitted in the field of running or distributing television channels. TRAI had in 2008, 2012 and 2014 held that state governments and political parties should not be permitted to own TV channels or distribution channels.

Also read :

Post-DAS, tardy MSO registrations in six months, 14 new additions

Including Arasu, total number of MSOs goes up to 1376, to ensure DAS implementation

37 new MSOs in 45 days takes total to 1421, seven among 59 cases sub-judice

Godfather, Kal, Digi Cable & Intermedia licence cancellation stayed, 50 'pan-India' MSOs' op area changed

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