Industry needs to invest in talent: Uday Shankar

MUMBAI: The Indian television industry is helping three million people with jobs and is fetching a revenue of $15 billion every year. However, rather than discussing the success story, the industry is brainstorming over survival and profitability.

The sad story is that very few companies make money and many are finding it difficult to survive. These were the opening remarks of Star India CEO Uday Shankar, who was delivering a keynote at the opening day of the 12th edition of Ficci-Frames.

Shankar noted that for the industry to survive, the stakeholders have to invest to power growth; bring innovation in content; and ensure good delivery system.

Shankar said that in TV there is no innovation taking place in content. He said that Kaun Banega Crorepati, which Star Plus acquired in 2000, is still being aired on other channels. “Audiences are watching it not as a choice but due to the lack of it.”

Shankar also pointed out that there is a “dearth of talent” in this industry, which is affecting the quality and killing the social equity. “The problem is critical and the industry needs to fix time and energy in training and nurturing talent,” Shankar said. “Media has to come together to create centre of excellence.”

He also came down heavily on the piracy in broadcasting. Demanding a change in the mindset, he said that it is probably the only industry where the content is being pirated and still the broadcasters are paying to the MSOs for carriage.

Digitisation will help in the broadcasting industry turning profitable, Shankar added.

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