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Cable wars: Now,Alagiri son takes on Maran firm in Chennai

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s grandson Dhayaanidhi Alagiri made his entry into the crowded media bazaar of Tamil Nadu with the launch of the Chennai operations of a satellite TV distribution network he is co-promoting....

Written by Gopu Mohan | Chennai |
April 15, 2010 2:13:15 am

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s grandson Dhayaanidhi Alagiri made his entry into the crowded media bazaar of Tamil Nadu with the launch of the Chennai operations of a satellite TV distribution network he is co-promoting. This makes Dhayaanidhi,Union Minister M K Alagiri’s son,a direct competitor of his uncles,the Marans.

Meanwhile,actor-politician Vijayakanth’s DMDK became the fifth political outfit in Tamil Nadu that directly owns a channel with the launch of Captain TV at Vanagaram near Chennai on Wednesday.

Alagiri and his wife Kanthi were present on Wednesday morning when Dhayaanidhi announced the expansion of the operations of JAK Communications into Chennai. The foray into the Chennai metropolitan region will make JAK a direct competitor to the Maran-owned Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV),presently the monopoly distributor. “There will be competition because there is a monopoly at present. It will be tough but in the long run,we might succeed,” said Dhaayanidhi Alagiri after the launch on Wednesday.

The firm,now a local cable network that is popular in neighbouring district Tiruvallur,had recently become a multi-system operator (MSO). The group also runs few local channels with entertainment-related content. From the present owner JAK Jayaraman,the reins have formally changed hands to his son Kamalesh Jayaraman and Dhayaanidhi,friends who now turned partners.

At the height of the feud between Karunanidhi family and the Maran brothers,Alagiri had launched Royal Cable Vision in Madurai,while the state government made the initial arrangements to begin the operation of a Government-run cable distributor. However,SCV and the Marans came out on top after a tough fight and subsequent patch up. Incidentally,Dhayaanidhi and the Marans are already competitors in the film production arena,running Cloud Nine Pictures and Sun Pictures respectively.

According to industry sources,the entry of new financially-sound players in the tightly-controlled cable distribution market will be beneficial for the local operators and subscribers who are currently dependent on the monopoly operator. “The new operator has the latest technology and equipment,making their service one of the best in city right now. The real advantage will be the possible reduction of set-top box prices from about Rs 3,000 plus to just a few hundred rupees. Also,to take on the Marans,you need some one like this on the other end,” quipped a cable operators’ association leader.

Meanwhile,DMDK founder Vijayakanth formally launched the new channel early on Wednesday.

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