Another Show Begins In Mega-Serial Land
S Anand of Outlook writes about the delivery of CTV sets by the DMK government and says that TN is expected to reach record levels of TV penetration (assuming DMK delivers all the TV sets that it has promised).
After the midday meal scheme pioneered by Kamaraj in 1957 (covering one-third of all schoolchildren) and cemented by M.G. Ramachandran in 1982 (extended to all primary schoolchildren), the proposed supply of 90 lakh CTVs by the DMK regime has created a sensation. But first, some figures. According to the latest National Readership Survey, TN already has the highest TV penetration in the country, at 76.2 per cent. And of every 100 TV sets, 60 have cable connection. By this reckoning, of TN's 6.2 crore population accounting for 142 lakh families, only 35 lakh are likely to be without a TV. Karunanidhi, of course, wants everyone to have a colour TV. With the oversupply of 90 lakh units benefiting several families which already have a TV set, TN is set to emerge as the first state with 100 per cent media literacy.
This should be good news not just to Kalanidhi Maran's Cable TV Distribution business, but also to PMK and Zee Group. PMK just launched a Tamil channel which would not carry any film-related content (let's see how long they survive). Zee Network also has plans to enter the Tamil segment.
Now a TV without cable is like a bulb without a filament. Most beneficiaries in TN are aware that Karunanidhi's nephews own the Sun Network, and that the Sun-owned Sumangali Cable Vision controls over 85 per cent of CAS connections in the state. They also know they'll have to pay a minimum of Rs 100 per month for even free-to-air channels.
One just hopes that alternate modes of Cable TV distribution like DTH and IPTV(?) should catch on so that the near monopoly in the Cable TV distribution business becomes a thing of the past.