Tamil Nadu’s never-ending cable wars saw a new chapter opening at Madurai on Monday as the state chief minister’s son M. K. Azhagiri’s Royal Cable Vision (RCV) was launched with great fanfare. RCV targeted the Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) of the Maran brothers, which has been reigning supreme in most parts of the state till now. With the local cable operators told to shift loyalty from SCV to RCV, there is big confusion in the temple town and other southern districts. Caught in the crossfire is the Arasu Cable Television Corporation, which, incidentally, closed applications on Monday from cable operators willing to hitch on to the bandwagon of this state owned entity. “Azhagiri’s aim is to black out Sun TV from all cable operators receiving signals from RCV and promote Kalaignar TV in its place. Jaya, Vijay and Raj will be shown on RCV but not Jaya’s other channels like Plus and Max. But we are confident that public pressure will force them to end up showing Sun TV as well,” commented an SCV official. According to DMK, all party MLAs in South Tamil Nadu have been instructed to persuade cable operators in their area to switch over to RCV in the coming days. The police in Madurai and neighbouring areas have also received unofficial instructions to lend their muscle to ‘operation enlistment.’ “What the SCV did in the past, RCV is repeating now,” quipped a DMK functionary. The arrival of RCV is bound to eat into SCV’s estimated subscriber base of seven lakhs in Madurai and four lakhs in Tirunelveli. More importantly, RCV will be the vehicle to promote Kalaignar TV, which could not make much of an impact even eight months after launch last year. With these two cable networks fighting it out for operators and subscribers, the Arasu Cable Corporation is in a quandary how to proceed in such a strife-torn scenario. To be on the safe side, Arasu has decided to roll out its services initially at Thanjavur, Vellore and Coimbatore, where RCV is not in the fray. What ever may be the issue finishing on SCV will be a dream for ever, and the suffers are the people public.
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