TACTV alleges irregularities among private cable operators

The recent arrest of a cable operator by the Ranipet police for allegedly posting derogatory content against the Collector and other officials could provide an insight into the row between Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) and the private cable operators registered with it.
TACTV alleges irregularities among private cable operators

Chennai

TACTV officials allege irregularities among cable operators attached to it, including the supply of free set-top boxes to customers.
With official sources stating that the Central government issuing licenses to private cable operators was the reason for difficulty in reining in on obdurate operators, an official said, “As we can only complain to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory authority of India – the licensing authority) regarding them, we are unable to make them obey State government diktats.”
While TACTV offers 200 channels, including films and sports for Rs 154 a month, in addition to providing free set-top boxes, private operators wantonly tell customers who ask for the free set-top box that it is either unavailable or state that it being a government product offers poor quality footage, officials said.
Though TACTV has around 1.20 lakh registered subscribers in Vellore district, officials said 57,000 were “closed” by private operators who provide set-top boxes from non-government operators for rates ranging between Rs700 and Rs 2000, sources said.
Sources also said of the Rs 154 charged from customers, the cable operators have to pay TACTV Rs 80. “We cannot function profitably with a meagre Rs 74. We can survive only if the entire Rs 154 is given to us,” an operator said.
A senior official, commenting on the issue, said, “When we refused to heed to their demand, private operators complained to TRAI about TACTV, stating that we were cheating customers. When we explained that our reduced rates was to develop an additional customer base, we were lauded by TRAI for our efforts.”
Although the government in a bid to iron out differences has nominated party functionaries as coordinators for the Vellore, Ranipet and Tirupattur regions, they find it hard to control recalcitrant operators, said Vellore district AIADMK treasurer M Moorthy.

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