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We are talking about relaxing regulations, I suggest leave us alone: Chandra

18-March-2004
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We are talking about relaxing regulations, I suggest leave us alone: Chandra

"FICCI last year saw a debate on whether CAS should happen or not. Going forward in the year, it became a national issue as if there was a shortage of national crisis in the country," began Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Essel Group in a special address at the valedictory session of FRAMES 2004, "But the reason why this happened was because of the growth in television."

He further went on to say that FRAMES can make and break perceptions and this year it goes beyond national boundaries. He touched on the major subjects of discussions in the three days of FRAMES 2004. He said, "My figures on the industry differ from the Ernst and Young report and I think that the entertainment industry is valued at Rs 20,000 crores. The Indian film industry is growing at high speed and we at Zee are putting in more equity in it, looking at more expansion."

He cited data that revealed 8 per cent of Hollywood content came from China in forms like story ideas, location, star cast and the likes. He said, "Going forward, India's participation in the form of joint ventures, co productions or acting will also increase on the Hollywood scenario.

Speaking more on the present broadcast scene, he observed that television is a highly unregulated market. In comparison countries like US have laws so stringent that international broadcasters can't make a foray there unless they go via an existing US platform. He said, "It is this unregulated regime that has created such exponential growth and so many channels. I would say that where all these people are talking about relaxing regulations to bring in a level playing field and all that, they should instead just leave us alone and we will continue doing well."

He explained how the coming in of broadband and the growth of DTH would force cable industry to go digital and that consumer demand will also change to that effect. He further spoke about the sensitivity of content and, the unusual international problems in context to content, the group faced just in its four-month experience in DTH. He said, "I think the government should adopt better, liberal programming code that would stop insensibility coming in from across the borders without any check."

He touched on other issues as well like copyright protection and the pertinent piracy problem. He pointed that the pirates of Indian content, whether films or music, benefited to the extent of Rs 2000 crores annually. If the piracy problem was solved, this would translate into Rs 20,000 crores revenue to the entertainment industry.

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