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Cable operators who worked with Arasu, Sumangali 'blocking' new digital players, plaint lodged

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MUMBAI: A district collector in Tamil Nadu has reportedly received a complaint against a cable operators' group that had worked with Arasu Cable for not allowing new digital operators to enter the market.

The plaint has been lodged against the group of about 20 operators which had earlier worked with (then) analogue cable operators such as Arasu Cable and Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), the Times of India reported.

The Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV)’s digital operations  (DAS) were launched on 1 September with the inauguration of upgraded MPEG 4 control room. The Centre had in April this year given a provisional MSO licence to Arasu on the condition that it adopts DAS within three months. TACTV had sought extension, but the Centre had only agreed to one month -- till 17 August.

Around a fortnight ago, a Tamil Nadu federation of unions had alleged that the Arasu MSO had been following  'monopolistic practices'. TACTV had set the subscription fee as Rs 70, which was below the fee recommended by TRAO. Of this, cable operators were expected to pay 50 per cent to Arasu, the federation alleged.  

Now, on Monday, the petition submitted before the Coimbatore district collector TN Hariharan by a local digital cable television operator said the group of 20 has taken over around 85,000 connections in the district and put pressure on BSNL not to allot fibre-optic cables to new digital players.

Cable Television Network (CTN), a Coonoor-based digital cable television operator, which claims to have around 500 connections, alleged that the 'cable mafia' had misled the BSNL by lodging false complaints against the new entrants.

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