Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable slashes its subscription rates

The Tamil Nadu government has announced that Arasu Cable TV subscription would be available for a monthly charge of Rs 130.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday slashed the monthly tariff for the consumers of Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited.  

From August 10 onwards, the monthly subscription would be Rs 130 plus GST. This announcement would come into force across the State except in Vellore district where model code for the parliamentary elections are in force.

“Hereafter, only two packages will be in force for the Arasu Cable TV consumers. The first package will provide 142 free channels for a subscription of Rs.141.60. The second package which is popular among the consumers will be available for Rs.154 hereafter instead of Rs.260 – ie., the chief minister has reduced Rs.106. In all, consumers can view 191 channels including many of the prime channels in the second
package,” reports said, quoting official sources.

“Based on requests from the people, the cable television tariff for Tamil Nadu [except Vellore] under Arasu Cable has been fixed at Rs 130, plus GST,” Mr. Palaniswami said in a statement.

In its new tariff mandate earlier this year, TRAI fixed a rental of ₹130 plus GST for 100 channels as the basic fee for a network to carry 100 channels. The move caused major disruption in the market, especially for Arasu Cable as it made it difficult for the Tamil Nadu government to fix the subscription rate.

Palaniswami said the Cable Corporation had distributed 35.12 lakh set-top boxes free of cost to its subscribers till date. In the last few months, Arasu Cable found that of the 35 lakh STBs that were distributed, only 24 lakh were active, suggesting that almost 11 lakh subscribers had moved to other networks owing to the sudden increase in pricing. The new pricing is an attempt to bring its subscribers back to the network.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) is expecting its revenue for the financial year 2018-19 to be Rs 268.89 crore.

During the FY2017-18, TACTV had earned revenue of Rs. 221.90 crore with a net loss of Rs. 35.63 crore. The net loss was due to the purchase of set top boxes (STBs) and depreciation on the value of STBs.