STAR, Sun channels return to Tamil Nadu

Tuesday, 29 April 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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CHENNAI: After one long month, Tamil Nadu has finally got back the STAR and Sun Network channels, with STAR TV and a multi-system operator finally reaching an agreement here.

STAR TV and MSO Sumangali Cable Vision met here Monday night.

Most of Tamil Nadu had been doing without one or the other network's channels due to a tariff war between STAR and Sumangali, a multi-system operator.

Cable operators and TV viewers were at the receiving end of this battle.

Sumangali distributes over a dozen regional language channels from the Sun Network, owned by DMK leader Murasoli Maran's family. The other multi-system operator in the city is Hathway.

With STAR accusing Sumangali of not declaring correct viewer data and paying less than it should for telecasting its channels, the latter stopped airing STAR's channels altogether.

STAR, meanwhile, persuaded Hathway to telecast its channel but Sumangali stopped giving Hathway Sun Network channels.

The cable TV war also resulted in the rivals cutting each other's cables and jamming transmissions. As a result, for a month now, Chennai residents have not known what channels they would get to see on switching on their TV sets.

Says cable TV operator Jayashree: "People like me, in MSO Hathway territory, lost 15 channels at one stroke and thousands of viewers called up every day demanding that the Sun channels be returned. We had little choice and had to bring back the Sun channels and drop the STAR package."

On Monday night, one by one the STAR channels began coming back to drawing rooms across the state. Tony D'Silva, the STAR vice-president, distribution, told the media here: "Talks were held at the highest level" between STAR and Sumangali.

Source: IANS
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