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Indian state targets cable control

Jayalalitha accuses duo of excessive consumer charges

The state government of Tamil Nadu in southern India is bringing in legislation to take over cable TV distribution from the two dominant operators, Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) and Hathway.

Chief minister J. Jayalalitha, a former actress, accuses the pair of excessive and prohibitive charges to consumers, disrupting the telecast of certain channels and blurring certain nets.

The move, however, has the taint of political interference.

SCV is owned by the chief minister’s political rivals, the Maran family, which includes India’s union minister for communications and information technology, Daya Nidhi Maran.

Jayalalitha owns the Tamil-language Jaya TV channel, while the Marans own the SUN Network of 13 regional-language entertainment and news channels. Hathway is owned and run by the Mumbai-based K. Raheja group.

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