Chennai: Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) is planning to launch DTH service to overcome the issue of eroding subscriber base due to pricing and service related issues under the new tariff order regime.
Arasu Cable TV was launched by TN government with a motive of offering chap Cable TV connections to people across Tamil Nadu. However, under the new tariff regime implemented by TRAI, Arasu is not able to meet its objective of extending neither cheaper rates nor superior quality service. The LCOs under Arasu Cable TV Corporation are facing revenue constraints as the pricing control has gone to the hands of broadcasters with a clear demarcation of revenue possibilities, which are transparently available in public domain.
Moreover, Instead of Rs 130 Network Capacity Fees (NCF) fixed by TRAI, Arasu has offered to charge Rs120 only, which is a huge set back for the Cable operators. In addition to that private MSOs are luring LCOs by offering additional discounts and incentives to rope in new subscribers. Due to this many LCOs are dumping Arasu and partnering with MSO extending better revenue possibilities.
In addition, Lack of initiative from Arasu to tap affluent subs who wish to watch HD channels and add-on services like VoD and Hybrid Boxes for smart TVs, is not only dampening the revenues possibilities of LCOs but also end up losing them to DTH players.
In order to arrest the falling Subscribers base due to the above-mentioned factors, Arasu Cable TV is planning to take B2C route by launching DTH service to bypass the LCOs and reach the consumers directly and lure them with cheaper plans.
While Arasu is dreaming about the benefits of going DTH, Industry observers opined that, going DTH needs a huge set of manpower and technology to service the subscriber’s demands right from installation to recharge, while currently Arasu is riding on the back of LCOs just by creating the head end infrastructures. It has to operate like corporation to compete with private operators, which is impossible for a state government entity to envision.
Industry sources reveal that Arasu’s DTH plans are in consultation level and it will take shape in coming days depending upon feedbacks from various corners. Then, it has to apply for a license, like the way it struggled for MSO license.