In an interesting move, the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd (TACTV) has decided to allot 20 slots on its digital platform to private local cable channels.

At present, the local channels are available at the taluk level on its analogue network.

The move will allow these local channels to be available on the network across Tamil Nadu or in Chennai alone.

Generally, such private local channels run their own content, have their own television shows and cater to a small audience in a specific region, a city or a town.

Now, with the process of digitisation of its network under way, Arasu Cable is looking to monetise the available bandwidth by providing an opportunity for these channels to be a part of the network.

The TACTV has issued a tender calling for bids from owners of local cable channels. While 10 slots will be allotted for the Chennai region, the remaining 10 will be for the rest of the State.

The State-run cable network has set an upset price — the lowest price for bids — of Rs. 0.66 per set-top box for State-level Private Local Channels (PLCs) and Rs. 1.50 per set-top box for the Chennai PLCs.

The TACTV currently has 24 lakh connections through set-top boxes across Tamil Nadu and 91,000 in Chennai. “The State-level PLCs will be telecast all over Tamil Nadu in digital mode from TACTV’s digital head end at Nungambakkam. The Chennai PLCs will be telecast only in Chennai city limits in digital mode,” according to the tender document.

“A tender was floated earlier. But the network did not receive any proper response from private channel owners. So, the upset price was reworked,” an official told
The Hindu.

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