of our chairman''s family have been active in Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam (the "DMK"), a dominant
political party in Tamil Nadu. Although the company
is non- partisan, there is no assurance that it will
not be perceived as having political allegiance, and
there is no assurance that such perception will not
have adverse effects on our business."
One of the risk factors listed by Sun TV Network Limited,
earlier Sun TV Limited, in its initial public offering
that time neither the company nor anybody else visualised
chairman Kalanidhi Maran and his brother Dayanidhi Maran
falling foul with the DMK supremo and chief minister
Dr M Karunanidhi or even his family members.
Karunanidhi is the grand uncle of Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi
who are sons of the late DMK leader and union minister
in a sudden turn of events the mercurial union minister
Dayanidhi lost his post in the union cabinet. Despite
being a first time member of Parliament Dayanidhi was
inducted into the Congress led ministry at the centre
in 2004 as a union cabinet minister for communications
and information technology.
the change in family equations Karunanidhi and
his family members turning against the Maran brothers
the question uppermost in the minds of business
associates concerns its impact on the fortunes of the
listed company Sun TV Network Limited that owns a clutch
of TV channels (four Tamil channels: Sun TV, KTV, Sun
News, Chutti TV and Sun Music; two Malayalam channels:
Surya TV and Kiran TV; five Telugu channels: Gemini
TV, Teja TV, Gemini News, Gemini Music and Gemini Cable
Vision and: four Kannada channels: Udaya TV, Udaya Movies,
Udaya Varthegalu and Udaya TV II) along with a few FM
major portion of the network''s infrastructure is based
in Chennai. In addition the group''s Sun Cable Vision
is the largest multi system operator in Tamil Nadu.
apart, the Sun group also owns Dinakaran and
Tamil Murasu newspapers, seven FM radio stations
and four magazines, with plans to start an English daily
in tie up with Rupert Murdoch''s Sun and an entry
in to the booming Indian aviation sector.
question assumes significance, as DMK had given telecasting
rights of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Karunanidhi
as a member of the Tamil Nadu state assembly to the
Sun group in preference to Raj Television Network Limited
that owns Raj TV.
reports of the Sun TV group having been asked to vacate
its premises, owned by the DMK trust, are also in circulation.
good programming and an early start gave the Sun group
channels a lead in viewership, owning last mile connectivity
the cable operation has also helped the
Sun channels in a major way. With the ruling party now
turning against the media group and if such an attitude
remains long-drawn can the cable operations of the group,
Sun Cable Vision (SCV) retain its near monopolistic
hold on the market?
previous AIADMK government, led by Karunanidhi''s arch
political foe Jayalalitha, had tried to nationalise
SCV''s operations but failed.
stock market too seems to be asking similar questions
and taking decisions. For instance on 15 May, 2007,
the Sun TV scrip at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened
at Rs1,501.10 (previous close Rs1531.55) and went up
to Rs1,529 and hit the intra day low of Rs1,461 and
closed at Rs1,476.80. The total volume traded was 1.84
lakh shares with a turnover of Rs27.48 crore.
owns a 90-per cent stake in the company.
Raj Television opened at Rs190.30 (previous close Rs188.65)
and closed at Rs226.40, with the total quantity traded
being 27.34 lakh shares with a turnover of Rs58.41 crore.