Sunday, May 07, 2006

SUN Sweeps

We all know of the dominance of Sun network in Tamil Nadu, but I was surprised to see it blanketing the South Indian households in US as well. Unlike my earlier US visits, all of the families I visited during my current trip have one or more of Sun network channel. I did not see even one family subscribing to any other Tamil channel. I wouldn't be surprised if SunTV makes more money outside India than in India.

I was intrigued by the fact that several of my friends family were hooked to the popular serials to the extent that they schedule their engagements around that. One family routed all their calls to voice mail during the serial time. Another family recorded the serial via TiVo and burnt DVDs. Interestingly, even the kids were able to identify the serials based on the theme song, though they didn't know much beyond the serial title.

I was under the impression it was basically a delayed broadcast of the same stuff as in Chennai. But, the telecast seems to be highly edited and somewhat different from the one I get in Chennai. The amount of commercial interruption seem to be lot fewer than Chennai. However, they did not cut out any of the election related stuff. Goebbels propaganda engine rattled down the living rooms in US as well with full speed.

DMK & the Marans have one lethal weapon that Amma doesn't have and that is SunTV. With its reach and dominance, SunTV has the power to shape public opinion and perception. I wonder how it is allowed to gather such a control over the various media channels with impunity and why the all powerful election commission is keepng quiet.