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TN: Cable war hots up, Azhagiri floats new channel
June 10, 2008 18:12 IST
Last Updated: June 10, 2008 19:20 IST
A week after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi declined to meet his grand nephews, the Maran brothers, a cable TV network backed by Karunanidhi's son M K Azhagiri was launched to counter the SUN TV [Get Quote] channel owned by the Maran family.
The Royal Cable Vision (RCV), a multiple system operator, was launched by Azhagiri's wife Kanthi in Madurai on Monday.
The RCV is reportedly owned by Azhagiri's son Durai Dayanidhi. With this, the conflict between Azhagiri and his cousins, former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and brother Kalanidhi Maran, has shifted to business ring with the RCV reportedly attempting to block the Sun TV and the Sumangali Cable Vision owned by Maran brothers.
Azhagiri reportedly was instrumental in prevailing on Karunanidhi not to meet the Marans on the occasion of his 85th birthday on June 3.
Marans, who went to meet Karunanidhi for a 'grand reconciliation', went back without meeting him and Azhagiri informed the media that no meeting has taken place between them.
Soon after RCV was launched, reports from different parts of Madurai city said no cable network subscriber was able to tune into SUN TV.
RCV, however, claimed the network was launched after "deliberate attempts" by SCV to send weak signals of the "Kalaingar TV", named after Karunanidhi, which was launched in September last year following parting of ways between the Chief Minister and the Marans.
The split followed publication of survey by a Tamil daily owned by the Marans projecting Azhagiri's younger brother M K Stalin as more popular. SCV, however, denied the charge.
Meanwhile, RCV alleged that SUN TV was ignoring its request to provide their pay channels for viewers. Sun network, they charged, was deliberately delaying providing their channels to RCV.
With both RCV and SCV flexing muscles, many cable operators apprehend that real gainers would be the direct-to-home operators.