MUMBAI: Endemol Shine, known for producing shows such as Bigg Boss, Master Chef, Khatron Ke Khiladi and Dance India among others and also known as the non-scripted format giant, has plans to play the next game in the scripted genre. After Deepak Dhar made a move from the company, Abhishek Rege filled his shoes, adding regional flavour to Bigg Boss in the Viacom18’s bouquet and web series for ALTBalaji. Now, the network is looking forward to creating original content for Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Indiantelevision.com caught hold of Rege at the Bigg Boss 12 launch event. He said that the major chunk of programming right now on Hindi GECs is daily soaps. “It is still the staple to a large extent. This apart, talent and reality shows work well in terms of viewership. Among the talent shows, I believe that dance programs have a slight edge over singing,” said Rege.
As per the KPMG M&E report 2018, reality shows got just 28 per cent of viewers, followed by comedy serials, family drama and serials, Hindi feature films and news/ news-based programmes garnered 34 per cent, 37 per cent, 38 per cent and 56 per cent respectively.
Producing a show for the regional audience is costs less than the Hindi speaking market. Rege said that the cost of production will increase with inflation and other things such as the salaries of the employees, but the allocated cost of production needs to be decreased down the line. “Globally also we try out newer technologies, newer processes to follow to reduce cost without sacrificing quality. We are testing out a few technologies and hopefully in the near future we would be able to do this in India as well,” he added.
The company’s new focus is on scripted formats. Rege doesn’t count web series as digital property but rather a scripted property meant for a different audience that consumes content on different platforms.
As far as TV’s relevance in the digital age is concerned, Rege said that the future of TV is large even now. “Digital platforms have been offering a certain premium content that will be far and few in between because I think that Netflix doing Sacred Games has found the right spot. So we see the activity will go up and also Voot has just announced a number of shows. Similarly, Hotstar, ALTBalaji, Amazon and Netflix also have a lot coming up,” he said.
There are a decent number of players in the market for programming and what remains to be seen is the amount of content they need to put on air to create a good library. For this year, apart from its regular diet of Bigg Boss and Fear Factor, there are investments in scripted genres. A certain book’s rights and some original ideas are under development.
Endemol’s aim would be to retain the shows’ IPs. “While everyone thinks that it is easy to do that on web series, it will depend on how it will be monetised. If there is a clear monetisation potential, then we can take the risk of an X amount of the total cost of production. When you go ahead you know where the money is coming from and how much of it is coming to us. Unless that is completely clear it is not easy to take the risk and therefore it is still some time away, but the attempt is to keep every IP of the shows that we produce,” he said.