THAMIZHAGA CABLE TV OPERATORS GENERAL WELFARE ASSOCIATION (TCOA) the first of its kind in the state of Tamil Nadu is an extensive organization formed by the self-employed small scale cable operators of Tamil Nadu. It marks a revolutionary and extra ordinary stride in the world of cable TV distribution in India. Began as an attempt to sustain the business models of the small operators in the state, collective resistance and strategic modernization in the hitherto un organized world of cable TV.
Cable TV distribution started in a big way in Tamil Nadu in the beginning of the 1990s. Today it has become ubiquitous as electricity and telephone lines, reaching every nook and corner of the state. The necessity to constantly upgrade the technology in the field initially prompted the need for a union. But by the middle of the 90s, it became a dire necessity to face the multiple challenges the business faced, like the onslaught by the MSOs, the skyrocketing rates of the pay channels. Soon TCOA grew into an organization with taluk level in each district of Tamil Nadu with more than 50,000 operators under them. The executive committee headed by an efficient leadership runs the day to day functioning of the organization. The state committee has sub-committees to look into each problem area and implement solutions. The district level committees control the district level administrations, which in turn impart all information’s to the member operators.
TCOA conducts a varied range of activities every year. TCOA conducts state level campaigns that consist of processions and public meetings to raise public awareness against the invasions of large scale MSOs and to protest the various unjust rules and regulations of the Centre and State governments. Cable TV Operators are regularly trained in the use of the latest technology under our guidance. Protests and strikes against the unfriendly business policies of the government, increase in taxes and resistance to the unjustifiable increase in rates by the pay channels are all some of the many episodes in the history of TCOA.
It was the capital of Five crore collected exclusively from the members of TCOA that laid the foundations of Tamil Nadu Digital Network LLP (TDN LLP) and Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication Private Limited (TCCL) in 2012.
In a scenario where the complete digitization rules threaten the very existence of Indian LMOs, TCCL is an MSO that operates without the LMO-MSO differentiation and is a savior of the operators. TCCL provides the operator with the necessary training, workshop and financial assistance they require. Even though TCCL is an independent business body, the policy formations and control of this body lies solely with TCOA.
TCOA takes active interest in public welfare activities too. We work along with public during natural calamities. TCOA make considerable contributions towards education through the local TCOA committees. Distribution of clothes, educational aids like books for students and financial assistance to poor families are some of our regular activities. There are committees who have been conducting functions to felicitate students who score high grades for the last ten years. Some of the local committees have been able to accumulate lakhs of rupees as contributions to help poor and helpless cable tv operator families.
TCOA, with its far sightedness, have taken steps well in advance for co-ordinating like-minded Associations, thus south Indian co-ordination for association has been formed a decade ago. Like minded The Association presently called South Indian MSO Alliance (SIMA), comprising of Independent MSO’s from Tamil nadu, Pondicherry, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for safeguarding the interests of the such MSO’s that support LMO’s.
TCOA is an elaborate network of 50,000 operators who provide services to 20 million of subscribers in the state if Tamil Nadu. In comparison to other states, TCOA has been able to resist the onslaught of MSOs and create a healthy business atmosphere to the cable operators of Tamil Nadu. The withdrawal of the entertainment tax by the state government, thereby making cable TV services cheap and affordable in the state are among some of the proud achievements of the TCOA. “OUR BUSINESS IN OUR HAND” is our slogan. The most democratic and widespread network in the state, the TCOA is committed to provide to its subscribers, the latest and the best services available today.