Films become hot property for Malayalam channels

MUMBAI: While its neighborhood TV markets including Tamil and Telugu had been dealing with high-cost movie acquisitions, the relatively low-scale Malayalam TV channels hadn't been able to throw up such high figures on the movie acquisition front.

But if the present trends are anything to go by, the movie acquisition costs in the market are on the upward curve. This follows a buying spree by Sun's Surya TV and the launch of a flurry of channels who were using movies to drive in audiences.

In Malayalam, the relatively low budget movies -- compared to Tamil and Telugu -- were sold in the range of a negligible Rs 2.5 million. The scenario underwent a sudden change last year when Sun's Malayalam general entertainment channel Surya TV ramped up its acquisition plans. The channel's buying spree saw the rates at times even touching the Rs 5 million mark.

A recent release Paandippada, which had done well in the box office, has been acquired by one of the leading channels for Rs 4.2 million. According to market sources, Kairali TV acquired the telecast rights to the blockbuster Mammootty-starrer Thommanum Makkalum in the pre-release stage for an approximate Rs 3.3 million. As per market sources, an upcoming project Chaandupottu was sold in the market for Rs 4.1 million.

The print powerhouse Malayalam Manorama, which is targeting a 2006 launch of its proposed general entertainment channel, has also played a major role in the prices trekking northward.

"Manorama has been buying out all possible films. By now, it has built a strong library of relatively new movies," says a source close to the company.

The drop in productivity in the Malayalam film market has also triggered a demand for movies. The market, which used to churn out approximately 120 films a year, now produces only 60 films on an average. An alternative was telefilms. But as of now, the channels have shied away from substituting movies with telefilms in the prime slots.

"The formula of dubbed movies is yet to work in Malayalam. So, you can't really substitute anything else with Malayalam movies in the market here," points out Pratap Chandar, who heads the marketing division of the newly launched production house Symphony.

"A strong subject backed by a good starcast is vital for the success of telefilms on TV. Same is the case with all the markets," says Yantra Media head Shyamsundar who had plans to produce telefilms for Surya TV earlier.

"Surya TV enjoys an edge in the market as it has in its possession the maximum number of blockbusters and popular films. But now its competitors have also started investing big on the acquisition front," says an industry source. Surya TV used to buy film rights outright, but had to change its strategy as producers and competing channels initiated the idea of 10-year rights, thus limiting the usage of the property.

A new business model is also finding favour with the Malayalam TV market. Leading Malayalam film stars have started working out deals with producers where they get satellite TV, cable and music rights as well as the distribution rights for overseas instead of being paid remuneration for their acting. The average remuneration of top film stars in Malayalam ranges from Rs 7.5 million to Rs 12.5 million.

Actor Dileep, who is the third most popular actor after Mammootty and Mohanlal, has been regarded as a pioneer in this form of business arrangement. The actor is dealing in this business through Grand Productions, a production company he owns. Dileep is also known for his agressive stance against video piracy.

"For many of his projects, Dileep doesn't accept any remuneration. Instead, he acquires the rights and then trades it to broadcasters. The package includes sale to television channels including Doordarshan, overseas, audio and video rights. Producers, dealing with a cash-strapped industry, naturally find the offer too attractive to refuse. This practice has been finding many takers these days," says an industry analyst.

Latest Reads
Star Bharat leads Hindi GEC (U+R) in week 2 of BARC ratings

MUMBAI: Star Bharat emerged as the leader in the Hindi GEC (U+R) genre dethroning Zee Anmol according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data for week 2 of 2018.

Television TV Channels Viewership
BARC week 2: Aaj Tak leads Hindi News in all three markets

MUMBAI: Republic TV continues its leading streak in the second week of the year as well in BARC All India ratings. News Nation stays in the top five chart in week 2 of 2018 in Hindi News Rural market. Aaj Tak tops the chart again in Hindi News Urban market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Dsport acquires India rights of tri-nation tournament in SL

Discovery’s sports channel Dsport has acquired the exclusive India broadcast rights of Nidahas Trophy 2018, a tri-nation international T20 tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The transaction was facilitated by Lagardère Sports, the global marketing consultant of Sri Lanka Cricket...

Television TV Channels Sports
Pittie Group launches news portal

Pittie Group has launched LatestLY its new portal for trending stories across categories like world news, politics, sports, entertainment, lifestyle,technology, automobile etc. It is being developed as the go-to platform for anybody wanting a complete understanding of trending stories.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Catch Rekha's stellar performance in 'Biwi Ho Toh Aisi' on Sony MAX2

MUMBAI: Rekha’s fans are in for a sweet surprise this week as India’s iconic Hindi movie channel from Sony Pictures Networks, Sony MAX2 is all set to air classic movie Biwi Ho Toh Aisi. A light-hearted family drama stars Bollywood legends Farooq Sheikh and Rekha in lead roles and marks the debut...

Television TV Channels GECs
The seasonal show saga on Indian GECs

MUMBAI: Daily soap operas, with an infinite number of episodes, is the unique feature of India’s TV entertainment offering. From the era of a single national broadcaster to today where you can pick from a plethora of general entertainment channels (GECs), times have surely changed. What is slowly...

Television TV Channels GECs
Star ushers in IPL's new era with a bang

Star India is all set to reinvent the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 by increasing fan-engagement levels and bringing the sporting spectacle even closer to cricket fans across the country. The broadcaster’s press conference in Delhi today started with Sophia, a robot, in conversation with...

Television TV Channels Sports
Zeel numbers up on higher ad revenue in third quarter

The Subhash Chandra led Indian television network Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited reported 11.5 percent and 28.3 percent increase in consolidated total revenue and profit after tax (PAT) respectively for the quarter ended 31 December 2017 (Q3-18, quarter under review) as compared to the...

Television TV Channels GECs
Ramdev wants telecast fees waived off for devotional channels

Baba Ramdev today took a shot at the government for imposing high tax on telecasting devotional TV channels.

Television TV Channels People

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories