Chennai: In TN’s Broadcasting circles, the immediate reaction has had a mixed bag of responses. It was joi-de vivre for some and a reason for trepidation formany sceptics.Those happy about provisional License granted nowwish for the next bigstep: ‘Regularization of License’. For the ADMK loyalists, this has been the former CM, Late Ms.Jayalalithaa’s pet project andfulfillment ofherelectoral promises. To offer the Television viewer cost effective bouquet of Channels at nominal costswas the cover for the late Madam Jayalalithaa, though it was more to do away with the monopoly and checkmating her rival’s media clout. According to her, the deliberate non-issuance of DAS license to State owned ARASU by the previous UPA Govt was only to facilitate particular private business interest. So there is more than what meets the eye. But for now,sections of the market and those with their affiliation to the incumbent Govt are upbeat on the way forward, confidentthat this Provisional licensing for a 3 monthperiod (deadline coming to an end on July 17, 2017) will pave way for regularization and that in itself are the positive signs. Since Arasu(TACTV) has never been against digitalization, so what if the 3 months digitization deadlines falls short, they could still bring in a stay?. The State and Centers co-operation is the need of the hour and at these times Centre is committed tosupport the ADMK as an extension of solidarity.
To the rival camps, however, with Madam Jayalitha no longer in the reckoning,Aarasu has been rendered rudderless and it’s collapse imminent, or that is what it is believed to be,detractors are confident of the warning signals to Arasu. To them the provisional license are sinister designs of MIB as an indication for a ’ship up or shape out’, countdown in the offing’s. The deck is being cleared with no conundrums. MIB with its huge pre-conditions and a 3 months stipulationare a daunting task. But for now ARASU is skating on thin ice, what with TRAI recommendations still pending. With more than 70 lakhssubscriber base to be addressed and theDamocles sword hanging high; the deadlineof July 17, 2017 to ensure completion of digitalization is too near. For them ARASU is surviving on a pace-maker and only time will tell how much the pace-maker can sustain.
What however cannot be denied is that Arasu Cable did not shrug of its responsibilities nordid it turn a blind eye. Steps to initiate digitalization was already in the reckoning with tenders floated for the best equipment’s and installation processes. Nearly half a lakh of STB boxes were sourced and monies close to Rs 25 crore invested for upgradation. And cut to the latest, the provisional license will only motivate them to go full throttled. Deadlines in India don’t hold water as is what is perceived.
Venugopal Nair is a veteran from Marketing and Advertisement-Sales Industry with career spanning 25 years; having worked in News-Papers, Magazines, Mainline and Regional Broadcasting Television Channels