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Netflix streams first Indian original series ‘Sacred Games’

Netflix streams first Indian original series ?Sacred Games?

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MUMBAI: Netflix has finally started streaming its much-hyped first Indian original series Sacred Games. After two and a half years of its entry in the crowded Indian OTT (over-the-top) market, the streaming giant has tuned in to Bollywood flavour by starring Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte.

In the Indian OTT market, almost every player is betting big on originals. Ekta Kapoor-owned ALTBalaji has emphasised on originals as well. Netflix’s international rival Amazon Prime has already launched two Indian original series Inside Edge and Breathe along with one non-scripted show Remix. Though Netflix has won the heart of viewers with original US shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things, it has realised the importance of local content to woo Indian audience.

Netflix: Kashyap, Motwane to direct parallel 'Sacred Games', targeting 5-6 originals in a year

The crime thriller is based on the critically acclaimed novel, Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra. Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, co-founders of Phantom Film co-directed the new series.

“There are great stories everywhere, but there are really four or five centers of TV and film (globally). Mumbai (Bollywood) is certainly one of them, and it is important for us, because we are going to be actively invested in India,” Netflix international originals VP Erik Barmack said as quoted by Reuters.

Still now Netflix is far behind in the competition in the Indian market compared to Hotstar, Voot and Amazon Prime. A KPMG-FICCI report read that Netflix’s total active subscriberswas 4.2 million in January 2017 while Hotstar had 63 million, Voot had 13.2 million and Amazon Video had 9.5 million. However, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has high hopes as he said earlier that the next 100 million subscribers of the company would come from India.

Given the dominance of regional languages apart from Hindi, domestic players have already been very bullish about regional content too.

“There is an argument to be made that each region in India is rich enough to be developing series, as if it is its own country. We should and we will. It is a matter of sequencing,” Barmack commented on the issue.

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