Chennai: Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa formally relaunched government-owned Arasu Cable TV Corp. Ltd on Friday, seen as a move against the Maran-controlled multi-crore cable business in the state.
The move fulfils her All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party’s poll promise to provide cable TV services at subsidized rates.
Sun Cable Vision (formerly Sumangali Cable Vision), owned by the Marans—former Union minister Dayanidhi and brother Kalanithi— enjoys a near monopoly in cable services in Tamil Nadu.
Arasu Cable was started by the previous government led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) after a split in that party’s first family involving chief M. Karunanidhi and his grandnephews Kalanithi and Dayanidhi. After they patched up, it became dormant.
On her return to power in May, Jayalalithaa revived Arasu, appointing K. Udumalai Radhakrishnan as its chairman. In a recent statement in the state assembly, she said Arasu will provide 90 channels for Rs 70. These would include pay channels, she said.
She had said Arasu had provided 50,000 connections when it started in 2007, “but due to the selfishness of rulers”, it had shrunk to 432 on 31 March this year.