Companies & Sectors
Big media houses tying up with individuals for TV content

Instead of producing 10 to 15 in-house shows and serials, big media houses are now tying up with individual producers and scriptwriters for good quality content

Big media houses are finding it difficult to generate good content and are now eying to tie up with well-known writers and producers, individually.
“You need individual creative teams for surviving in the television business. Corporates are now tying up with individual writers and local producers to create good content,” said Umesh Ray, chief executive officer and joint managing director, SP Telefilms Pvt Ltd.

Big media houses like the Reliance ADA Group and UTV as well as major TV channels are finding it easier to tie up with individuals for content rather than aligning with production houses like Balaji Telefilms Ltd. Earlier, these media houses tried to produce in-house content in collaboration with production houses, but they failed to generate revenues as well as deliver greater viewership through higher television rating points (TRPs).

Earlier in 2006, Reliance ADA Group’s unit Adlabs Films Ltd (now renamed as Reliance MediaWorks Ltd), had a tie-up with Synergy Communications Pvt Ltd—a production house owned by well-known quiz master Siddhartha Basu. The joint venture, Synergy Adlabs Media Ltd, produced some non-fiction shows like ‘Jiya Jale’, ‘Champ’ and ‘Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain’ as well as interactive shows ‘Aap Ki Kacheri’, ‘Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hai?’ and ‘10 Ka Dum’.

Despite using top film stars as anchors and airing them on prime time, these shows failed to garner higher TRPs as well as capture the viewer’s mind.

Similarly, Ronnie Screwvala’s UTV, which is in the TV content business since 1991, has been unable to churn out good content lately. UTV made its mark with blockbuster daily soap ‘Shanti’ in 1994 on national TV channel Doordarshan. Later it produced some content like ‘Chakravyuh’ and ‘Saanp-Seedi’ for Zee TV, ‘Bhabhi’ for Star Plus, ‘Soni Mahiwal’ for Doordarshan and ‘Athiradi Singer’ for Sun TV.

UTV, also a major player in film production and distribution, later tied up with anchor-actor Shekhar Suman and Smriti Irani, but their joint ventures could not produce good, saleable content for TV. Last year, Smriti Irani Television Ltd (SITL), UTV’s joint venture with Smriti Irani, also known as the ‘bahu’ or daughter-in-law of the small screen, announced that it would produce a serial based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. However, there are no signs of the serial till date.

9X, the TV channel promoted by Peter Mukerjea, former chief of Star TV India, also vanished from the scene as it could not produce appropriate and quality content to pull in viewers. Following decline in TRPs, Sony also revamped its content but is still waiting for results.

Star Plus and Zee, which also registered lower TRPs, have shown some good results after tying up with individual writers and producers. Zee has tied up with Swastik Pictures of Siddharth Tewary and Vikas Seth and is producing a daily soap called ‘Agle Janam Mohe Bitya Hi Kijo’. Swastik has also tied up with other TV channels and is producing serials like ‘Mata Ki Chowki’ and ‘Agla Janam’. Recently, Zee TV has tied up with film producer Rajshri Productions and is producing a fictional show called ‘Yahan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli’. SAB TV had also tied up with Tonny and Deeya Singh’s production house DJ’s Creative Unit for a program ‘Left Right Left’, a serial based on the lives of soldiers.

Mr Ray from SP Telefilms said, “Endemol, a UK-based digital production company, has tied up with two individual scriptwriters, Anjana Sood and Vicky Chandra, to produce ‘Sabki Laadli Bebo’ in Star Plus. SAB TV had tied up with Asit Modi’s Neela Telefilms to produce a family-oriented show ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma’.

Colours, the most successful Hindi television channel, has partnered with some of the country’s leading production houses. The channel’s production partners include Endemol India (for ‘Fear Factor–Khatron Ke Khiladi’), Meenakshi Sagar Productions (for ‘Jai Shri Krishna’), Shakuntalam Telefilms (for ‘Bandhan Saath Janmon Ka’), Playtime Creations (for ‘Jeevan Saathi’), Sphere Origins (for ‘Balika Vadhu-Kacchi Umar Ke Pakke Rishtey’), Jay Pranlal Mehta (for ‘Rahe Tera Aashirwad’), Wizcraft Television (for ‘Sajid’s Superstars’) and Deepti Bhatnagar Productions for ‘Mohe Rang De’.
“Individual producers have responsibility for the content they produce as they need to cover the production cost and generate profits to survive and create a name in the industry. But when you are employed in a corporate you do not need to worry about performance because at the end of the month, you will get your salary,” said Mr Ray.

Five years back, big corporates were reluctant in funding individual writers or local producers and performance was a question. But now corporates are welcoming talented people and are ready to fund them. 
-Pallabika Ganguly



R Sridhar

7 years ago

Very nicely researched article. Keep it up!

Indian banks not worried about exposure to Dubai

While Dubai grapples with a financial crisis, Indian banks like Bank of Baroda and SBI will be forced to take a deeper look into their exposure to Dubai-based entities

Dubai’s relentless pursuit of growth received an unprecedented jolt last week, when its heavily indebted flagship holding company, Dubai World, announced plans to restructure $60 billion worth of loans. Dubai World’s real estate arm Nakheel is in the doldrums, after a 50% drop in real estate prices has forced it to ask for a trading suspension of its Islamic bonds (sukuks). Dubai World has sought a moratorium on its debt obligations for a period of six months.
It also appears now that big brother Abu Dhabi is not in a hurry to come to the rescue of its more illustrious neighbour, and is willing to aid some entities only on a case-to-case basis. That could put some Indian banks with direct or indirect exposure to the ‘investors’ paradise’ in a spot of bother.

Although it is unlikely that this crisis will escalate into a full-blown sovereign default, Indian entities will be wary of taking a hit on their balance sheets. A $5.5-billion syndicated loan to Dubai World has, among others, two leading Indian banks as participants. Bank of Baroda and State Bank of India (SBI) have an exposure to the embattled entity, although it is unlikely for each bank to have a significant exposure, given the high number of participants. Some other Asian banks on the roster include Bank of East Asia, CITIC Ka Wah Bank, Cathay United Bank and United Overseas Bank, among others.

In fact, Bank of Baroda has an exposure of Rs4,000 crore to Dubai, of which Rs900 crore is to Dubai World. However, the first repayment in respect of this advance is due only in 2011. On the other hand, India’s largest lender, SBI, has an exposure to Dubai World to the tune of $50 million (Rs230 crore).

Both the banks have, however, played down concerns regarding repayment. Bank of Baroda’s chairman and managing director MD Mallya has stated that the company would study the implications of restructuring Dubai World’s loan. Although the money involved is not huge enough to raise concerns, the management of these banks will be forced to inspect their balance sheets and take a closer look at the beneficiaries of the advances. Among other banks, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and Indian Overseas Bank are reported to have exposure to Dubai, albeit in manageable proportions.

Apart from the direct exposure to Dubai World, banks will have to study their indirect exposure through loans to companies and exporters that deal with Dubai-based entities. 




7 years ago

Where the exposure is due to Economic considerations or due to D company blackmail?Also labour from UP/Bihar employed in unskilled section are likely to be thrown out

Sensex up 272 points at 17,198

The Sensex closed at 17,198 as it gained 272 points from the previous day’s close, while the Nifty closed at 5,122, up 89 points, after data showed strong Indian economic expansion in the September quarter. 

During the day, Sun Pharmaceutical jumped 6%. The company had recently received United States Food and Drug Administration’s approval for its generic Strattera capsules, used for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The drug is a therapeutic equivalent of Strattera capsules from Eli Lily.
Maruti Suzuki India rose 2% after total vehicle sales spurted 66.6% to 87,807 units in November 2009 over November 2008. Domestic sales surged 60.1% to 76,359 units, while exports surged 128.6% to 11,448 units in November 2009 over November 2008.
Tata Motors is reportedly planning to produce hybrid versions of its low-cost car Nano to join the environment-friendly bandwagon. The stock surged 6%.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) signed an agreement with BAE Systems, a global defence systems manufacturer, to create a land systems focused joint venture defence company that will be based in India. M&M will hold 74% in the venture and BAE Systems will hold the remaining 26%, the maximum foreign direct investment allowed under the existing defence sector FDI norms. The two companies will invest a total of $21.25 million over a three-year period. The stock was up 5%.
Reliance Industries (RIL) advanced 3% on reports that the company has become the largest natural gas producer in the country with its over 50 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd) output, surpassing state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s output.
State Bank of India gained 2% on reports that the bank has invited bids for sale of 1% stake in the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) as well as 5.91% stake in the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX).
Mercator Lines rose 4% after the company took delivery of a 1993 built M R tanker of 42,235 dead weight tonnage.
Jubilant Organosys rose 3% after the company extended its four-year old drug discovery collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly and Co by five years.
Peninsula Land shot up 5% after the company received a sum of Rs160 crore from Alok Realtors from the sale of 6.41 lakh square feet at Peninsula Business Park in Mumbai.
After the trading hours on Monday, the government announced that India’s fiscal deficit during the April to October 2009 period was at Rs2.45 lakh crore ($52.70 billion), or 61% of the full-year target. Tax receipts were Rs2.14 lakh crore and total expenditure was Rs5.37 lakh crore for the first seven months of the 2009-2010 fiscal.
During the day, the government announced that exports fell 6.6% to $13.19 billion in October 2009 over October 2008, while imports dropped 15% from a year earlier to $22 billion. The trade deficit shrunk to $8.80 billion in October 2009 from $11.74 billion a year earlier. Exports for April-October 2009, the first seven months of the 2009-10 fiscal year, were down 26% at $91.05 billion from the same period in the previous year.
According to C Rangarajan, chairman of the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council, the robust growth of the economy in July-September indicated it could expand at around 7% in 2009-10. The latest numbers do indicate that industry and services are growing very strongly offsetting the impact of the decline in agricultural production, Mr Rangarajan said.
Meanwhile, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament that the current trend in inflation in India was a result of a shortage of food items and not due to a demand-push factor. The food articles index rose an annual 15.6% as of 14 November 2009, up from the previous week’s 14.6% rise. Weak monsoon and floods in parts of the country have hurt farm output and pushed up food prices. He said that the government is keeping a close watch on futures trading in commodities.
The finance minister said buoyancy in the government’s revenue seen earlier may not continue till 2011-2012. Mr Mukherjee also said that the government will not sell over 10% in listed State-run firms at this stage and will time its stake sale to get maximum value.  
The HSBC Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index, based on a survey of 500 companies, fell to 53 in November 2009 from 54.5 in October 2009. According to the survey, India’s manufacturing activity expanded for the eighth straight month in November 2009 but was at its weakest pace since March 2009 due to a slowdown in growth of output, new business and employment.
During the day, Asia’s key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan were up by between 0.88%-0.98%, while indices in China and Japan were up 1% and 2% respectively.
The purchasing managers’ index released by HSBC Holdings Plc rose to a seasonally adjusted 55.7 in November 2009 from 55.4 in October 2009 whereas the Chinese government’s purchasing managers’ index was unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 55.2.
The Bank of Japan decided to take additional easing steps at a special policy meeting in order to sustain the country’s fragile economic recovery in light of deflationary pressures and a soaring currency.
The Japanese central bank kept its overnight call rate target unchanged at 0.1%, but also set up a new 10 trillion yen ($120 billion) lending facility, which will accept as collateral Japanese government bonds, corporate bonds, commercial paper, and deeds on loans. The bank pledged to cooperate with the government to do all it can to pull Japan out of deflation, which the bank has said it expects to last for three fiscal years.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia raised its cash rate target by one quarter of a percentage point to 3.75%, further unwinding emergency policy settings no longer appropriate for the country's recovering economy.
On Monday, 30 November 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 35 points while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained four points and six points respectively.
As per US economic data, the Institute for Supply Management (Chicago) reported that its gauge of regional business activity rose to 56.1 in November 2009 from 54.2 in October 2009.
However in premarket trading, the Dow was trading 66 points higher. 


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