Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Mollywood comes to a standstill in Satellite Rights Issue ?

There are about 10-15 General entertainment Channels (GEC) in Malayalam, with many waiting to get launched. There will be a fight, naturally, to grab the eyeballs. One of the major source of revenue for channels in Movies. Due to the growing demand for grabbing rights, the satellite rates have gone through the roof, especially in the past 2 years. For small films the rights makes up most of their production budget, and for superstar films they could even cover the budget. Since each channel is involved in a mud fight, who want the movies at any cost, weren't at first concerned about the inflating rights, even though every now and then news of stopping irrational buys come up.

The situation got worse in the past few months. A new generation film which was super hit at Box Office when premiered on TV got shockingly low TRP ratings. There were many other examples too, most of them belonged to the so called new generation films. A superstar film that released last year a figure as satellite right that was more than the film's budget, but was disaster at the Box Office. So with the number of hit films dwindling down and most of the hit film not catering to family audience channels have now decided to put a break on the mad rush to buy satellite rights at explosive rates.

This has put Mollywood in a spot of bother. Now a days many films are being made think only about Satellite Rights in mind, as the producers will get the full sum before film hits the theaters, they don't really have to worry about the fate of the film at Box Office and the channel heads end up with red face. But there are a lot of genuine film makers who got into trouble as instead of lending money from bankers or 'Shylock's', which was the usual practice till few years ago, they depend on satellite rights. Lots of movies are stuck up in cans due to this. Many announced films got cancelled or postponed indefinitely, many are stuck half way filming. Law Point which was about to release last week got postponed. Films of Mohanlal, Dileep, Mammooty won't be much affected by the regulations as even their flop movies have respectable ratings on TV. For all others it depends upo Director, songs, Box Office fate etc.  Even though there was an adalat organized by Kerala Film Producers Association for a common place for channel and movie people to interact and address the concerns and complaints of producers. But nothing much came of it either.

In a way its harsh on channels as i most of the cases they loose tons of money for no reason of their on. So strict regulations are needed. But it will not be fair to but films based on theatrical run as there are many good films, sans any stars, which don't get much of a theatrical run, for various reasons. So

1. Either show the film or selected clips from it to respected authorities of channels, like they show it to distributors
2. Give the full script to channel authorities to read
3. A Contract by which they can return a % of money if it the ratings aren't great during premiere and doesn't improve after 2/3 airings [Father's Day (2012) had better ratings durin 2nd and 3rd airings than premiere show]
4. The loss made in the film should be compensated in the future film of the studio or star or producer or director
5. Delay CD-DVD release till TV premiere

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