To say that the Hindi GEC genre had an action-packed 2008 wouldn’t be incorrect. The year saw new GECs like Colors, 9X and NDTV Imagine generate a lot of buzz; the FWICE-producers row that brought all shooting to a standstill; the K-brigade losing its Midas touch; the economic slowdown beginning to take its toll. To counter all odds, the Hindi GEC genre is readying for 2009 with new shows, differentiated content and a leaner budget.
Of the three new Hindi GECs, Colors has been in the news for shaking up the genre structure with shows like ‘Balika Vadhu’, ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘Jai Shree Krishna’, and ‘Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina’ driving its TRPs.
The FWICE-producers standoff resulted in over three weeks of repeat telecast. One wonders what was actually achieved by the strike. Colors was the only channel during those weeks to air fresh content in its reality show ‘Bigg Boss’, given the show’s format.
The year also saw three long running ‘K’ serials – ‘Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, ‘Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii’ and ‘Kasauti Zindagi Kay’ being wound up.
The industry leaders that exchange4media spoke to had a lot to share regarding their take on 2008, the impact of the economic slowdown and their expectations from 2009.
Slowdown – Industry feels the squeeze
The broadcast industry has not remained immune to the economic slowdown. Keertan Adyanthaya, EVP and GM, Star India, said, “The television industry, too, is getting impacted due to the current economic meltdown. There are pressures on bottomlines of TV channels. Investors are raising issues with regards to the breakeven point, rate of return and financial viability of projects. This, in turn, is impacting a lot of channel placements for many players. The spending plans of many new channels have been put on hold, whereas it has not been so much of an issue with the older channels.”
Rajesh Kamat, CEO, Colors, too, said that the economic slowdown had impacted every player in the industry. He, however, added that the extent of impact would be different for different players. “Colors has done very well since its inception. It has exceeded our expectations in terms of ratings as well as business. We could have monetised more had the current economic slowdown not taken place. The extent of impact is lesser for us compared to other channels because we started from ground zero. Therefore, we don’t see the impact as much as others may be witnessing.”
(To be continued)