Crisil develops methodology to grade TV, film productions

MUMBAI: The mantra in the entertainment industry today is corporatisation. Another move in that direction was made with the announcement yesterday by Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd (Crisil) that it would grade film and television software productions to help lenders evaluate funding for upcoming entertainment projects.

"The comprehensive and objective analytical framework would assist banks, institutions and other lenders in evaluating film and television software producers," Crisil was quoted as saying in a statement.

It is only recently that lending institutions, the Industrial Development Bank of India, being the most noted example, have stepped in to fund film projects based on clearly laid down norms.

Lenders could use the framework to systematically classify risks and objectively assess various risk issues before determining their exposure levels and interest rates for the entertainment industry.

For borrowers, who have had to source funds at exorbitant interest rates from the parallel market, the grading framework will act as a key facilitator in accessing institutional funds.

For television software producers, which are generally constituted as corporate entities, the grade would indicate Crisil's opinion on credit worthiness of the entity.

Thus, the grade would reflect relative ability of the rated company to meet graded debt obligations, it said.

In case of film producers, it would assign a grade for a specific movie indicating the rating agency's opinion on the producer's ability to complete a particular project and recover costs incurred.

It is, therefore, possible that different movies of the same producer could get different grades, the statement added.

Crisil carried out the exercise on behalf of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Earlier, CII had produced the first authoritative "EnterMedia 2001" report, which determined the need for this project with Crisil.

"While the overall analytical approach includes an assessment of business risk, financial risk and management capabilities, the methodology derives its robustness from the level of detail in incorporating entertainment industry-specific parameters and benchmarks. Crisil has held active consultations with a wide number of industry players in developing the methodology," the statement said.

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