Chennai: Sun TV Network has switched off its digital feed to Tamil Nadu state owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) from 4th December 2017 owing to differences on pricing issue of its digital feed offered in STB’s distributed by TACTV.
In return TACTV has blocked out the signals of Sun TV Network channels from its analogue feed that potentially resulting in block out of all Sun TV Network channels across major centers in Tamilnadu.
Differences over Pricing of Digital feed:
As part of its strategy to offer cheap Cable Connections to Subscribers, the state o
wned TACTV is planning to achieve the same with a better bargaining with broadcasters owing to its mass reach across Tamil Nadu with near monopoly scenario in Cable distribution in Chennai and Rest of Tamil Nadu.
After receiving provisional DAS license from I&B ministry, TACTV is aggressively im
plementing the digitization process w.e.f 1st September 2017, by offering Free Set-top-boxes to its subscribers. Apparently, it has re-negotiated the revised pricing with all its Broadcasters for offering digital feed with an offer of increasing their rates by 10% from their analogue rates.
While most of the broadcasters agreed for the 10% hike owing to its huge volume of market share of over 70 lakh subscribers, Sun TV Network has refused to accept the 10% hike formula and demanded the Cost per Subscriber (CPS) of Rs 20 to 24 for the top seven channels (also called as Leg piece channels), the rate at which it is offering its channels to other MSOs, which was turned down by TACTV.
Both the sides under Pressure:
Failure in negotiation resulted in Sun TV Network switching-off of its digital feed to TACTV. In retaliation to this Arasu Cable has switched-off the analogue feed of Sun TV Network channels that includes the primary Tamil GE channel Sun TV. Presently the LCNs of the Sun TV Channels on Arasu Cable TV is showing an Error in feed symbol on its screen.
This situation means a lot of tension for both the sides as Sun TV Network will be loosing its reach to over 70 lacs subscribers across Tamil Nadu that will result huge drop in viewership ratings. It can’t afford such kind of drop as the channel will be under pressure from its advertisers and Private Producers who are producing content for Sun TV under Sponsorship model. The drop in reach is so much high that Sun TV might potentially loose its tag of being the most watched channel in India that is even ahead of leading Hindi GECs. Moreover, the secondary channels of Sun TV Network will be facing severe consequences for a longer period as they are not dominant in the market unlike its GEC Sun TV.
On the other hand, TACTV will also be facing a huge embarrassment from its existing subscribers through the Local Cable Operators (LCOs) as there will be a huge uproar over missing their favorable TV shows on Sun TV and its network channels. In addition to this the digitization process of TACTV will be facing a tough task as it will be almost impossible to expand its network with out Sun TV Network channels in its bouquet.
It is immanent for both the parties to sit across and find a solution, as both the sides will be facing severe repercussions in coming days.
However, sources from Arasu Cable TV reveal that they are not in a position to budge unless Sun TV Network switches on the digital signals and come forward to sit across the negotiation tables.