In the on going no-holds-barred filmi war in the TV world, channels are cooking up innovative ideas to offer novel film fare to viewers to stay on top. And in this battle of high stakes, the channels are piping each other in gaining the first movers advantage.
That is preciously what happened to Doordarshans recent game plan to revamp its films software. In a strategic move Doordarshan authorities are going in for the telecast of western blockbusters dubbed in Hindi. Doordarshan is taking the services of NFDC in sourcing the blockbusters and also dubbing these films. Doordarshan authorities have planned to telecast these films on DD Metro at prime time (8 to 10.30 pm) from December. But before Doordarshan plan could take off, Star Gold has already gone ahead and implemented the similar strategy.
As part of Star Gold’s make over from a classic movie channels to a contemporary film channels, with effect from November 3, Star TV mandarins have already announced their plans to telecast best of Hollywood movies dubbed in Hindi, thereby robbing Doordarshan’s of its USP. Star has also stolen a march of Zee TV in implementing the concept of interactive film entertainment which Zee bosses had planned for their upcoming interactive entertainment channel. Star TV has implemented this concept for their new look Star Gold channel in which the Sunday evening’s theme movies in solid gold category will be endorsed by the film star or any other celebrity with a personalized leadin to these films.
Despite been robbed of their USP of telecasting dubbed Hollywood films, Doordarshan top brass is unruffled. DD bosses say that they have a definite edge over Star Gold with a high (42 million) viewership of DD Metro Channel where they are going to show dubbed western blockbusters.
Dubbed Hollywood blockbusters will be the new addition to Doordarshan’s current film menu of Hindi blockbusters, award winning films and regional movies. Doordarshan has allocated an annual budget of Rs 11 crores under royalty category to acquire the rights of Hindi films. This budget is a mere shade to Zee TV’s three-month budget of Rs 40 crores for acquiring rights of new Hindi movies under newly launched Thursday Premier. “As a public broadcaster we have our own limitations. Specially when there are many buyers of new Hindi films with greater paying capacity, we are at disadvantage. But then despite constraints we try our best to offer the best possible TV software.” Says S Y Quraishi, Director General, Doordarshan.