Questionnaires are being issued through ration shops

The Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable Television Corporation has begun an independent survey o the number of cable TV connections available in its network through ration shops.

However, the cable operators are opposing the survey, claiming that it is an attempt to increase the subscriber base with an aim to increase the monthly collection from the operators at a time when they were facing the wrath of subscribers due to high power cut.

The Corporation has already distributed questionnaires to ration shops to get the feed back from the fair price shop consumers on the functioning of Arasu cable TV and the monthly subscription collected by the cable operators.

The questionnaire seeks to get the details of the whether the consumer has a cable TV connection and with which operator. It also elicits information whether the consumer has got a direct to home (dish) TV connection.

Besides, the corporation wants to know how many channels are being beamed by the operator through Arasu Cable TV network.

It also attempts to get information about the number of channels that are beamed with good quality signal.

Sources in Arasu Cable TV said that around 1,150 cable operators are with the Government network in the district and around 2.5 subscribers were with them.

However, they believe the number in subscriber base has been fudged by the cable operators.

“We know that no where the monthly subscription collected by the cable operators in the city is Rs. 70 as stipulated by the Government. Over and above, the operators were hiding the actual number of connections with them, thus causing loss to the Government,” an informed source said.

The operators are supposed to collect Rs. 70 per connection and remit Rs. 20 per connection to the Government.

However, the cable TV operators have different view point.

“The Government has not made any investment for the cable TV infrastructure here. It is the operators who have invested on the cable and other infrastructure. The Government organisation does not have technicians to attend repairs, like cable snapping. We spend from our pocket. Even the cost of diesel for the generator is borne by the cable television channels,” the president of Cable Operators’ Guild, A. Pandi, said.

He said that collection of subscription was a problem for the operators due to the prolonged power cut. “Many subscribers are not ready to pay complaining that they do not get to watch their favourite programmes without power,” he said.

Recalling that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, has said that the power situation will improve only by December 2013, he said any attempt to increase the subscriber base will hit the operators hard.

He said the officials should try to provide the Government network to the unreached areas of the districts to improve its revenue.