Set-back for Azhagiri in Karunanidhi family cable war

June 19th, 2008 - 11:26 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Chennai, June 19 (IANS) The cable war between Royal Cable Vision (RCV), a multi-system operator (MSO) promoted by M.K. Azhagiri, son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, and Kalanidhi Maran-promoted Sun Network drew first blood with the former receiving a setback. The broadcast tribunal, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), has dismissed a petition of RCV asking for a direction to Sun Network to provide signals to all the satellite channels under its fold.

Azhagiri’s Madurai-based RCV was set up in April hoping to provide cable TV service in the southern districts of Madurai, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Dindigul, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi and a few other districts in Tamil Nadu.

Cable services in these districts have so far been provided by Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV), the MSO wing of the Sun Network, a television channels and services group owned by Kalanadhi and Dayanidhi Maran, Karunanidhi’s grand-nephews.

According to TDSAT, RCV has to ask the decoders in proper format from Sun Network as per the interconnection regulations.

According to regulations, an MSO has to submit details like the cable operators, who would take signals from the former and their subscriber base.

Further, the MSO has to enter into an agreement with the broadcasters/channel owners. On its part, Sun Network produced series of correspondence it had with RCV requesting for further data.

DMK watchers see the setting up of RCV as a direct fallout of the political and business rivalry between Azhagiri and the Marans since May 2007, with Azhagiri hoping to hurt the business interests of the Marans through RCV.

Azhagiri and the Marans have been on the warpath since a Tamil daily owned by the Sun group, Dinakaran, published a survey whose results declared that 70 percent of the people of Tamil Nadu favoured Karunanidhi’s younger son M.K. Stalin as his likely successor and only two percent favoured Stalin’s elder brother Azhagiri.

This triggered anger among Azhagiri’s supporters, who burnt down the office of Dinakaran in Madurai, causing the death of three employees and injuries to several others. Dayanidhi Maran was dropped from the Manmohan Singh cabinet subsequently under DMK pressure.

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