Prompted by the success of soaps such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi.... and game shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati, banks are looking at the new business opportunity of financing the TV serials.
The issue of exploring options of deploying bank funds in film financing activity is expected to figure prominently in a meeting with public sector chief executives convened by finance minister Yashwant Sinha today.
Explaining why banks prefer TV serials to Bollywood films, Miditech CEO Nikhil Alva says that most TV serials are commissioned by channels and are bound by a contract, thereby reducing the risk factor. Films, on the other hand, are heavily box-office dependent and, therefore, involve risk.
Calling it a step in the right direction, Indian Broadcasting Foundation executive director Bhuvan Lall says if banks finance TV serials in an organised manner, one will get more of quality content on TV. However, according to one view in the industry, banks may be testing waters by financing TV serials before going in a big way into films.
It may be recalled that after the granting of industry status to the film sector, both Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) formulated guidelines for banks and financial institutions to finance the film industry.
Although IDBI made tentative forays into financing film production, of late it has decided to go slow on this front.