TAMILIANS WHO had discontinued the local cable connections and opted for Doordarshan’s Direct To Home (DTH) services might end up paying once more if they have to watch their favourite Sun TV channel.
DTH was chosen by many viewers of Indore after most of the channels were made paid channels and monthly charges for cable connections rose dramatically. DTH requires only one-time investment of Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 and no monthly charges thereafter.
Doordarshan (DD) telecasts 33 channels, including Sun TV, for DTH viewers. But all of a sudden, Sun TV went off the air on DTH and it was replaced by J TV. This was because Sun Network withdrew its channel from Doordarshan saying that it would be coming up with its own DTH, which will feature all its regional channels.
Sun Network has also withdrawn Sun TV channel from Zee’s dish TV. An official for the Sun Network, who did not want to be quoted, told Hindustan Times over telephone that they would be starting their services from sometime in August. Asked about the charges for the DTH services, he tersely said that it would be competitive.
This means that those wanting to watch Sun TV will either have to subscribe to the local cable connection or wait for the new DTH to be in service. Either way, those Tamil households who had opted for Doordarshan’s DTH will end up lighter on the purse.
Many Tamil households were actually incensed when Doordarshan suddenly stopped beaming Sun TV and started in its place the not so popular J TV. Some even wondered why such a thing happened and wondered why the State-run Doordarshan suddenly took Sun TV, owned by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s family, off the air at a time when DMK was in power in both the Centre and the State in alliance with the Congress. And strangely enough the Doordarshan had begun airing Karunanidhi’s rival Jayalalithaa’s J TV.
Most of them, who used to religiously follow the numerous soap operas beamed by Sun TV, felt stranded in the middle of nowhere. Not only were they deprived of watching the remainder of the serials but also they had to do with ‘some boring programmes and anti-DMK propaganda’ aired on JJ TV.
Rajamani, a resident of Vijay Nagar and an avid viewer of the channel told Hindustan Times that the channel was replaced by J TV on June 17. “We are now deprived of watching good serials. J TV is owned by Jayalalithaa’s family. This is surprising for the Tamilians here because Sun TV was being shown when she was in power there and now when she is out of power her channel is being shown.”
Members of the South Indian Cultural Association (SICA), which runs the SICA School, are also upset. Said SICA president K Srinivasan, “Telecast of such a popular channel must not be blocked all of a sudden without even explaining the reasons to the viewers.”
He was also disappointed that the serial Anandam was at an interesting stage when the channel was taken off air. “For people like us, who are living 2000-km away from our home state, Sun TV was a medium that seemed our own,” said Indore Bhakta Samaj secretary Ravi Chandran. Chandran said that J TV does not focus on South Indian culture and it just bombards us with propaganda against the ruling DMK party in Tamil Nadu.
Doordarshan Indore Centre Director Anil Kumar Sharma expressed ignorance on the matter saying that the decisions are made in New Delhi.
“I am not sure whether Sun TV has become a paid channel,” he added. Sharma, however, said that complaints from customers can be directed to the headquarters but no changes can be made locally.
So, hardcore Sun TV loyalists among the Tamilians will have to shell out some more money if they are to catch up with the latest in their favourite soap operas.