Blackout continues, Karnataka cable ops plan rally

BANGALORE: The blackout of Tamil channels by the cable TV trade in Karnataka continues following the Cauvery water verdict.

At the time of writing, a section of the cable operators was planning to voice their grievance to the authorities. The Karnataka State Cable Operators Association had planned a rally from Anil Kumble circle on MG road to the Governor’s residence on 20 February to hand over a memorandum against the verdict with the expectation of support from all the bodies involved in the cable TV distribution chain, including MSOs.

A cable operator said that he expected participation from cable ops from the surrounding rural areas of Bangalore and from the interiors of Karnataka.

Sources from the various associations representing cable operators and broadband service providers say that the black out of the Tamil cable channels was a voluntary decision, later reinforced by ‘requests from Kannada activists’ groups.

A faction of the cable TV trade said that they were willing to restart the broadcast of Tamil channels saying that “it is the verdict that we are against, not the language, and we have given the longest support to the agitation against the verdict, but now we are willing to restart the Tamil feed.”

Certain sources reveal that the trade is apparently becoming nervous about any backlash from vested parties and is considering asking for police protection should they go for the latter option. A meeting is expected to be held on 19 or 20 February to decide on the course of action.

The Cauvery Tribunal verdict has already had its first victim in the form of union minister of state for information and broadcasting M H Ambareesh who put in his resignation from both the union ministry as well as Parliament in protest against it.

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