Tamil Nadu government-owned multi system operator (MSO) Arasu Cable TV Corporation’s unaudited net profit for the fiscal ended March 2018 has dropped 91% to Rs 1.68 crore compared to Rs 18.22 crore in the previous fiscal.
However, the cable TV service provider’s revenue for the fiscal has jumped 5.5% to Rs 248.95 crore compared to Rs 235.9 crore in the prior fiscal.
As per the Information Technology department’s policy note for fiscal 2018-19, Arasu had procured 24 lakh set top boxes (STBs) for providing it to the public at free of cost. The corporation has provided a depreciation of Rs 28 crore additionally for the STB procurement.
Arasu had paid a dividend of Rs 1.25 crore to the government for the year 2016-17.
The MSO is providing cable TV services through its five digital cable TV headends in Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, and Vellore and from the leased analog control rooms at 77 places all over Tamil Nadu.
The ministry of information & broadcasting (MIB) had granted the provisional digital addressable system (DAS) licence to Arasu on 17 April 2017. Arasu is the first government undertaking in the cable TV industry to get the DAS licence.
In the meantime, The MSO upgraded its existing MPEG2 digital headend at Chennai to MPEG4 digital headend to ensure best quality pictures with a higher channel capacity.
The upgraded MPEG4 digital headend at Chennai and the distribution of free STBs was inaugurated by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on 1 September 2017.
The MSO had floated a Global Tender on 6 May 2017 for procurement of 60 lakh Standard Definition (SD) STBs and 10 lakh High Definition (HD) STBs. Two successful bidders were selected and Letter of Acceptance (LoA) issued for procurement of 70 lakh STBs.
Arasu has a customer base of 70.52 lakh connected through 26,474 Local Cable operators. Till 14 May, STBs were distributed to 23.52 lakh consumers through 15,280 local cable operators out of which 22.88 lakh STBs have been activated till date.
The MSO has two packages priced Rs 125/- plus GST for 208 channels and Rs 175/- plus GST for 300 channels.
The corporation is also planning to provide state of the art HD cable TV service shortly and the Chennai digital headend has been suitably upgraded for the same.
Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation also provides broadband service and plans to roll-out IPTV service the detailed project report (DPR) for which is under preparation.