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FWICE Vs Producers: Countdown for compensation from broadcasters begins

19-November-2008
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FWICE Vs Producers: Countdown for compensation from broadcasters begins

It has been 10 days since the standoff between the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and the producers resulted in the broadcasters taking the extreme step of airing only repeat programming in primetime television. It is understood that the active producers would be meeting FWICE members for the first time on November 19. Expectations of tangible and positive results from this meeting are high.

In the meanwhile, the ‘grace period’, as some call it, that the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) had given to the broadcasters to resolve this issue is all but over. Come November 20, and the advertisers would engage with the various broadcasters to discuss how they can be compensated for the drop in ratings due to repeat telecasts. Until now, none of the advertisers have either pulled out their spots or renegotiated the ad rates on the channels.

The AAAI members met over the issue on November 18. Sam Balsara, Chairnman, Madison World, who was chairing this meeting, told exchange4media, “The 10-day period is now over. The advertisers and agencies can now enter into bilateral discussions with the various channels to seek compensation of what may have been the loss to them.”

Needless to say, which advertiser or agency would ask which channel for whatever compensation would finally be decided as per the ratings from TAM Media Research that would indicate the viewership drop in the repeat telecasts. If aMap data had to be referred at all, the drop is significant.

The step to air repeats only from November 10 was taken to expedite the process of resolving the dispute between FWICE and the producers that had led to an interruption in the supply of content on Hindi general entertainment channels. The only channel that could air original content was Colors for its show ‘Bigg Boss’, given the nature of the show.

Even before the broadcasters had stopped the commissioning of fresh episodes, there were many slots on Hindi GECs that were airing repeat content. The big question when the decision to air repeats was taken was what would be the reaction of advertisers who have shelled out big monies to reach audiences on the Hindi GECs.

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