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Arasu Cable Corporation infrastructure goes to SCV - Sathish - 02-23-2009

The infrastructure created at a cost of Rs 128 crore for the Tamil Nadu state-run Arasu Cable TV Corporation (ACC) will end up in Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) hands of the Maran brothers, according to local operators in Chennai.

The Tamil Nadu government launched the ACC on July 15 last year to provide inexpensive television fare to the people in direct competition with SCV after the fallout between the Marans and chief minister M Karunanidhi's family.

The government promised to fix Rs 100 as the fee per connection which would include some pay channels apart from the free to air channels. Control rooms with digital modulators were set up in Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, Vellore and Coimbatore.

However, SCV refused to offer Sun TV Network's bouquet of channels to ACC, which then filed a case with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Though TRAI ruled in Arasu's favour directing SCV to offer the Sun TV channels, local operators associated with ACC are dismayed that the government has not taken any initiative to get the Sun TV package till date.

Now after the patch-up in the CM's family, sources said the government was thinking of issuing tenders for auctioning the infrastructure and the minimum tender amount was likely to be fixed at Rs 10 crore.

An office bearer of the ACC' Association in the southern region reportedly said that this would only benefit SCV against whom no other multiple system operators would come forward to compete for the infrastructure at the four centres.