A majority of the cable television operators in the city have switched over to the Arasu Cable from Sumangali Cable Vision over the past few days.

Over the past two to three days, residents in the many parts of the city including Thillai Nagar, Thennur, Tiruverumbur, K.K.Nagar and other places have been getting feeds from the Arasu Cable TV Corporation.

Sources in the Arasu Cable here said that all the 170 cable operators in the city have switched over and giving their feeds. Confirming that most operators have made the switch over, T.Pushparaj, president, District Cable TV Operators Association, however, said cable TV operators would be collecting the usual tariff of Rs.180-200 from consumers this month as they have to make the payments for the SCV this month too. Only from December, the government fixed monthly subscription charge of Rs.70 would be collected from consumers. Although about 100 channels were said to be available in the Arasu Cable bouquet, currently most consumers were receiving about 65 channels. “We have given priority for the popular channels. The remaining channels would be given shortly,” the sources said. The feedback on the quality of the telecast, they said, was also good.

According to the sources, cable links of the Arasu Cable have been provided to most parts of Tiruchi, including Manachanallur, Musiri, Viralimalai border, Tiruverumbur and Airport areas. The link to Manapparai would be established within a week.

Enquiries with the cable TV operators in the city revealed that they were switching over to the Arasu Cable as they have been asked to pay an advance payment for three months by October 25. Though Sun TV is not currently available in the Arasu Cable bouquet, the popular channel is relayed “unofficially” from the DTH connections by some of the operators. “We are under heavy pressure as there is a strong demand from consumers for Sun TV, especially ahead of the Deepavali festival,” said one of the operators.

Many cable operators said they were under severe financial constraint, as they had to pay SCV dues and also the advance to the Arasu Cable this month. Already cable TV operators are worried over the serious erosion in revenue when they start collecting Rs.70 per connection. After paying Rs.20 to the government, the cable operators would be left with only Rs.50. “We are under difficult situation; we have to pay the same charges for the electricity consumption and wages for the workers. At the government rate, our revenue and margins would drop sharply,” observed one of them.