Arasu issues disconnection notice to Sun TV Network for analogue network

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MUMBAI: Multi system operator (MSO) Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) has issued a disconnection notice to Sun TV Network for analogue network due to the expiry of agreement and non-conclusion of price negotiation.

The Sun TV Network channels are distributed by Kal Media Services. The disconnection notice is issued against Kal Media Service.

TACTV, however, said it will offer seven Tamil channels Sun TV, KTV, Sun Life, Sun Music, Sun News, Adithya TV, and Chutti TV will continue to be broadcast in the digital mode through the set top box (STB).

The state government-owned MSO said that the channels will not be available in anlogue mode 21 days from the date of issue of the notice, which is 11 May.

The contract between the parties for analogue network had expired on 31 March. The negotiations between them didn’t yield any results. Arasu paid a flat fee of Rs 2.5 crore per month to Sun TV Network.

In December, the parties had sparred over the contract for the digital addressable system (DAS) only to patch up later. At that time, Sun TV had switched off channels to Arasu for DAS due to non-signing of agreement. In retaliation, the MSO had switched off the broadcaster’s channels on its analogue network.

The two parties had a disagreement over nature of the content. Sun TV wanted a cost per subscriber (CPS) deal while Arasu was in favour of a fixed fee deal.

Tamil Nadu has a universe of 12.5 million TV homes out of which Arasu has a subscriber base of 7 million connected through 26,246 LCOs. Mantra Industries Ltd (MIL) has received orders worth Rs. 507 crore from TACTV for the supply of set up boxes (STBs). MIL is importing the parts used in STBs from China and assembling them at its factory at Coimbatore.

As reported earlier, Sun TV Network is eyeing huge gains in its subscription income from the state.

In a discussion with analysts recently, Sun TV Network president R Mahesh Kumar said that the South India broadcast network could end with incremental subscription revenue of Rs 350-400 in the near future once the cable TV digitisation is completed and analogue is switched off.

Currently, Sun TV Network roughly earns Rs 270 crore subscription revenue in a quarter including Rs 180 crore from the direct to home (DTH) operators and Rs 90 crore from the cable TV operators.

The broadcaster hopes to be the biggest gainer in Tamil Nadu as it has the state’s most popular GEC brand Sun TV, which has a market share of close to 70%.

“We hope to get an additional Rs 350-400 crore subscription revenue from TN. In April-June, we expect a big ramp up in numbers and after that, it will settle down,” Kumar had told the analysts.


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