Cable TV

Chennai Corp sets CATV operators 31 August deadline for registration

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CHENNAI: Cable TV operators are looking into the eye of the administration gun in Chennai. They have exactly a month to register themselves with the Chennai Corp. The deadline : 31 August. Registration means they have to give details about number of subscribers in each area that they have a presence in.

If they fail to do so, they would get a caning and strictures would be passed against them, says the AIADMK government. It says it is trying to regulate the Chennai CATV industry and ensure that entertainment tax is collected from CATV operators. Last year, it managed collections of just Rs 2.5 million for the entire year, when civic officials say it should be in the region of Rs 16 million per month, an estimate based on Rs 20 per month being collected from 800,000 operators in the city.

The AIADMK government had two months ago proposed a cable TV act for Tamil Nadu which would be applicable for the state. A move which had been booed by some as an attempt by Tamil Nadu megaforce Jayalalitha to break the hold that the Sun Network backed Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) has on the Chennai public. Observers point out that the current diktat is another attempt to achieve those ends.

Jayalalalitha had in 1997 attempted to set up a master control room in Chennai but could not do so as she went out of power then. With the DMK government coming to power then, the Sun Network set up its SCV in double quick time.

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