NEW DELHI: With three new satellite TV ventures with political affiliations, including one from DMK's first family, ready to go on air, the channel war in Tamil Nadu is set to intensify.
The three channels ready to be launched are Kalaingar TV owned by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's family, Mega TV of senior Congress leader and former Union Minister K V Thangabalu and Congress MLA Vasanthakumar's Vasanth TV.
Mega TV and Kalaingar TV are set to be launched on August 20 and September 15 respectively. With this, all major political parties in Tamil Nadu will have a satellite TV channel.
Already, the main opposition AIADMK has Jaya TV named after its leader Jayalalithaa, while Makkal TV has been functioning as the mouthpiece of the PMK and its founder Ramadoss since its launch in 2006.
"This trend is neither healthy nor competitive. There is no point in political parties or their leaders starting satellite channels. None of these ventures can be commercially successful," veteran journalist and political analyst Cho Ramaswamy told PTI.
"All these channels will use the powerful medium just to air the views of a particular person or a party. They will try to thrust their views and opinions on viewers."
Vasanthakumar, who is also managing director of Vasanth & co, one of the largest retail chains in the state, said, "Vasanth TV will be launched with the blessings of Congress president Sonia Gandhi."
"It will be a 24-hour entertainment channel with six news bulletins. Preference will be given to news related to the Congress, especially our leader Sonia Gandhi, in our bulletins," he said, adding there would be a feature every day on the achievements of the UPA government and Gandhi.
He exuded confidence that his channel would be commercially successful.
Ramaswamy, however, noted that these channels would always be funded by someone and as long as there was a back-up, they could survive. "None of them will do well and they will always remain as channels."
Sun TV and Jaya TV served as extensions of the DMK and AIADMK. Both channels have fought some of the most bitter political wars in their studios, especially during elections.
After the feud between Karunanidhi's family and the Maran brothers, Raj TV, another leading network in Tamil Nadu, too joined the DMK bandwagon and will in all probability give telecast assistance to Kalaingar TV.
"People can very well differentiate between real and fake news. Whenever a viewer has doubts about a particular news item, he immediately switches to other channel to know what they say. And then he predicts the news," Ramaswamy said.
But a senior official at Makkal TV, owned by Ramadoss, said, "ours is not a political channel. We don't use the channel to promote the party. We give equal importance to all political parties and never politicise news.
"More than that, we are interested in preserving Tamil culture, which other satellite channels spoiled. We have a huge viewership and people like our programmes, especially the news bulletins," he said.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS
Government to set up MSO for cable TV
Sunday August 12 2007 11:44 IST
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Government will set up a separate undertaking to run cable television distribution system in the state, the State Cabinet decided here on Saturday.
The company will function as a multi system operator (MSO) in Chennai Metropolitan area, which is under conditional access system (CAS), and as a cable operator in rest of the state.
The Cabinet decision put to an end the speculation that either the Electronic Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), the nodal agency for the state’s IT initiatives, or the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) would be entrusted with the cable TV operations.
ELCOT had submitted a concept note claiming capability to network all revenue villages within a year, on the basis of the extensive network of fibre optical cable it has laid through out the state.
Claim had been staked on behalf the TNEB on the basis of its extensive power cable connections and manpower and expertise in billing.
An official release here said preliminary works for both MSO and cable TV network would be started immediately. The government is likely to seek licence from the Centre for starting the MSO within a couple of days.
The government, according to sources, is moving with a sense of urgency in this regard, as ‘Kalaignar TV’ being launched by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s family is scheduled to go on air from September 15.
The passage of all formalities at the Centre is expected to be smooth, as Karunanidhi launches yet another assault on the business interests of his now estranged grandnephews Kalanidhi and Dayananidhi Maran.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS
Cable operators rattled
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