Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd (ACTVC), a Tamil Nadu State Government enterprise for providing cable television service, commenced operations from July 15. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi inaugurated the service by unveiling a digital control centre in Thanjavur over a video conference facility from Chennai. Television viewers in Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts can now avail of the Arasu Cable service through their local cable TV operators.
As a multi-system operator (MSO), Arasu Cable is setting up similar digital control centres in Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and Vellore – each at a cost of over Rs 5.54 crore – to extend its services across the state.
Arasu Cable would offer over 60 pay and free-to-air (FTA) channels for less than Rs 100 across Tamil Nadu. In Chennai, where CAS (conditional access system) is in vogue, FTA channels would be available for less than Rs 100, while those opting for set-top boxes would have to pay the rates fixed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
Since it was not possible to provide all the 300 pay channels, Arasu Cable had discussions with broadcasters for around 70-80 prime channels. “While some of them have agreed to provide feeds, others have not yet given their consent. To get the feeds, we will proceed against them legally,” Karunanidhi had told The Hindu.
Most of the Sun TV Network channels, barring Chutti TV and Surya TV, were not available on the ACTVC service. A Deccan Chronicle report, quoting a source from Sun TV, stated: “Arasu Cable TV Corporation has not applied for our pay channels. Our free-to-air channels such as Chutti TV and Surya TV have already been given to them.”
Arasu Cable would offer signals first to cable TV operators who had registered with it and would soon offer another chance for more operators to register with it. It plans to offer 70-80 of the most popular pay channels out of the total of over 300.