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DTH-cable TV war hots up
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KANCHEEPURAM: The regional conference of the Thamizhaga Cable TV Operator’s General Welfare Association (TCOA), comprising about 10,000 cable operators from the districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri, stressed that they should be united in fighting against the monopoly of multiple service operators, like the Sun network.

The conference held on Saturday night here was supposed to be the cable operators’ answer to the Sun Direct’s leitmotif “Dan dana dan.” It was organised after the Sun network allegedly withdrew its channel feeds after cable operators failed to pay the stipulated Rs 35 per channel. The cable TV operators termed the levy as unjust as the same corporation charged other DTH operators only Rs 5 per channel.

The war between DTH providers and cable TV operators has been going on ever since the former forayed into the cable operators’ territory.

But, the Sun Corporation was especially singled out as it holds the unique position of being an MSO (multi-service provider), in addition to the Corporation being a film producer/distributor.

However, without making a direct reference to the Sun network, speakers at the conference derided it for being ungrateful to cable operators who, according to them, initially paved the foundation for the growth of the television industry. “Without us, they are nobody,” R Govarthan, Kancheepuram district secretary of the TCOA, said.

The cable operators have said they need the support of the State government to take on the DTH operators. The conference passed a resolution thanking the DMK government for forming a board to promote the welfare of cable TV workers, for offering medical insurance, and for writing off tax imposed on cable TV operations.

But, it also urged the government to declare all Tamil channels as free-to-air ahead of the World Tamil Conference 2010 to be held in Coimbatore early next year. “If that happens, it would be the best gift to the poor Tamil people by the Chief Minister, who has already done a lot for the cause of the Tamil language,” TCOA’s State president P Sakilan told Express on Sunday.

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