State-run cable provider, Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited, is all set to start its services in the Chennai Metropolitan area in digital mode soon. The company, which started its operations in September 2011, is setting a subscriber-base target of 10 million in the state, from the current 4.95 million.
Arasu Cable was incorporated in 2007 with the intention of providing high-quality cable TV signals to the public at an affordable cost. To achieve this objective, digital head ends were installed at a cost of around Rs 8 crore each at Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore and Vellore. Due to various reasons, the corporation had become defunct.
After assuming office in May 2011, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has revived the Arasu Cable TV and sanctioned a sum of Rs 3 crore for the revival and expansion of its activities. The corporation was renamed as Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited (TACTV).
According to the state IT department's policy note, “The response from the cable operators and the public was overwhelming and during the online enrolment conducted by TACTV, nearly 37,889 operators with a subscriber base of 14.5 million have enrolled with the corporation.
After the validation of the data, the number of enrolled operators is 30,194 with a subscriber base of 11.2 million, which are being connected gradually.”
The subscriber base of TACTV, which was 494,000 in September 2001, has increased to 4.95 million as on April 30, 2012 with an operator base of 21,123. Action is being taken to increase the subscriber base to 10 million, the note said.
At present, TACTV is providing services with a bouquet of 100 channels, which include free-to-air channels, pay channels and private local channels. As on April 30, 2012, the collection of monthly subscription amount from the local cable operators (LCOs) and multi-system operations (MSOs) is Rs 32.67 crore. This is apart from the advance payment of Rs.25.97 crore collected from the LCOs and MSOs.