What’s wrong with Indian entertainment and why Rs 100 Cr Bollywood club is not cool?

We recently interviewed Abhigyan Jha Founder & CEO of Undercover Productions Ltd (the man behind JayHind TV and hits like Movers and Shakers). We asked him what he thought about the Rs 100 Cr club which Movie makers feel proud of and what challenges Indian entertainment industry is facing. The answers he gave are very candid, fascinating and revealing. Read them with your eyes wide open 🙂


Why do u think 100 Crore Bollywood club is not cool?


We have 121 crore people in this country so accordingly it doesn’t make sense. If a movie is making 100 crores business that means it’s collecting less than Rs 1 per capita which is extremely low. If we take example of US which has 310 million people, and movies there make upto 3-4 dollars per capita, we can see a huge difference. The simple reason for this huge disparity is that most Indians are not watching Bollywood movies and it proves that the content of our movies is getting pathetic. These figures about how much a movie has collected from the success at box office are misleading for a country like India. 3 idiots was the only movie that came close to selling 3 crore tickets in last 30 years. The top 3 Bollywood films by Box Office Gross ever are Mughal-e-Azam, Ganga Jamuna & Sholay and 3 Idiots is at a lousy 36th spot. (as per Box Office Bollywood Gold Standard). Shahrukh Khan’s movies are not even in the top 40. Mr. Bachchan has only 2 movies in top 50 – Sholay and Amar Akbar Anthony and he was not the solo actor in both. Mr. Dilip Kumar comes out as the biggest hero. Most of his films are in the top 20 grossing films. What went wrong was that after 1980 our filmmakers started making really bad movies.

When you call movies like Sholay and Mughal-e-azam, Superhits with collections close to or higher than Rs.1000 Crores, in the same breadth you cannot call movies like Housefull, a hit by any standard. We should not be told how much money, the movie made but instead how many people are actually watching the movie: How many tickets were actually sold. Movies, Television shows and Music in our country are not serving the right content but everybody is in denial mode that nothing is wrong. We are being told numbers which mean nothing: no one can get a sense out of TRP and Box Office Gross that very few people are actually watching even the so called HITS! Nobody will be able to tell you how many viewers are watching a “2.5 TRP rated show” ! Not even the channel people would know except for the strategy and marketing team. The Hindi Speaking market in India is at least 50 crore people out of which only 70 lakhs would be watching a show whose TRPs are 2 or more. In 1992-93, on a Hit series like say Dekh Bhai Dekh: each episode was made between 5.5 or 6 lakhs and unbelievably, the amount spent per episode of a show is the same today as well. After 20 years of inflation & Rupee Devaluation.


So you think the content as whole is degrading? Not just movies?


We all remember Altaf Raja? He sold 27 lakh cassettes of his non-movie album near the end of 1990s and today an artist cannot sell even 2 lakhs. People are paying to get Airtel’s own jingle as ringtone but not Hindi Bollywood music. What can you do when everybody is in denial?

The recent show Satyameva Jayate had received a TRP of 3.0. Apparently Amir Khan has spent 30 crores on marketing and 7 crore per episode. They were trying to reach around 12 million people of India by telecasting the show on Doordarshan apart from Star Network. But this is not enough if they got 3 ratings for the show. It is a complete waste.

Let’s take another brilliant example- UK has a population of 60 million people and its number one show is the Music reality show done by ‘Simon Cowell’ which has around 9-10 million viewers. That’s a whopping 17-18% of the population.


Why these days no “real” blockbuster Movie is coming out of industry?


They have forgotten how to make a blockbuster and they have given up. It is like ‘Baniya’ game. Just like a small merchant would not like to make it big, similarly the Indian filmmakers never think of scale. They put 20 crores in a film and getting back 100 crores and this is sufficient for them. Nobody has been able to scale as they are satisfied. The filmmakers are looking at small number of people and at a much smaller universe. We don’t have the reach or the ambition to scale. Nobody is attempting to make it big. We don’t want to grow and we look at everything from the wrong side. A question to the filmmakers – Why do u make a film? Is it because you want to make money or you want people to watch your movie by showing them an amazing story and screenplay? If it is just the money then these filmmakers should have chosen the job of bankers, merchants or something else.

Can we even think of putting Yashraj Productions in comparison to Walt Disney? Can we compare what SRK does in terms of movies in comparison to Tom Cruise?

This year, IPL connected around 20 crore people in one or the other way. IPL alone is more than half of our Bollywood industry in terms of theatrical revenues. This proves that Bollywood is failing massively at attracting audiences to watch it’s movies.


Has Hollywood movies doing extremely good in India affected Bollywood?


No they are not doing extremely good but they have started doing well now. It started from the first Spiderman in India which had made the highest collection by a Hollywood film at the time.


Do you think Hollywood will surpass Bollywood in India in upcoming times? If yes, what lessons Bollywood needs to learn?


Yes, it can. Distribution system of Bollywood is to be blamed primarily. These are family based distribution systems that need to be changed.


Is there a hope that this pathetic content being delivered continuously can change?


Content can change and it is possible. It might change tomorrow or day after tomorrow. It doesn’t take much time/effort to change.

Vicky Donor was a recent good example. If an average film is like Vicky Donor, in quality then it’s a good sign. Paan Singh Tomar is another example of a movie which was not marketed properly but if it had been marketed like Kahani then it could have done better than Kahani.

So here we are throwing some really open questions to our Movie and TV show makers. What do you think of Indians as an audience?

The TV Business May Be Starting To Collapse [Indian version]

I recently saw many TV industry people tweeting about this article“Don’t Mean To Be Alarmist, But The TV Business May Be Starting To Collapse”. When I looked at the article I thought it made sense…. but only in America. If you try to analyze each point which is being written there and compare it to the situation in India, you will not be able to relate it. et all.

First of all it talks about how newspaper industry (in US) was so wrong in forecasting the trend and how fast people switched their preferences. It also says people stopped using classifieds and started using Craigslist over internet. Hmm.. this sounds true in our country too as most of us have switched to Shaadi.com or Justdial for our classified needs. But have we dumped our newspapers yet? I don’t think so…

So as per the article the newspaper industry in America saw a sharp decline in revenues during past 5-6 years and that was a sudden change which forced many companies to either exit or get acquired. In our country things are quite opposite (as if now). Today, India is the TOP country in the world by newspaper sales and the newspaper even tops the advertising revenue pie (whopping 47%) second only to Television [Here is the detailed news].

The author goes further and adds some startling facts like- they never watch TV shows when they are broadcast, any more and they rarely watch shows with ads.


So it’s apparent from the article that “internet” is the single biggest culprit behind demise of “newspapers” and (as forecast) “Broadcast Television” in US. And speaking about internet we (Indian people) have barely learned to find friends over Facebook- we still read few steamy articles over internet but when it comes to getting daily dose of news, I have seen majority of people switching on their TV set or grabbing the newspaper with a cup of tea. And internet TV? God, are you talking about some alien thing or what? I still can’t watch a full HD video streaming effortlessly on my 2MBPS internet connection (which downgrades to 256Kbps if I consume my free quota :P) yet. Boxee, Tivo, Netflix, Hulu are alien concepts to us. And to add to my amazement, the author says-

Our kids see TV ads so rarely that they’re actually curious about and confused by them: “What is that? A commercial?”

I bet our generation is yet to see any such change. I’m not saying we lag behind when it comes to TV content consumption, I bet we consume more.. only fact is that we are still very much into real-time TV consumption. Also, the ads help us know more about what’s happening in the internet world. I bet many of us didn’t know about Flipkart until the ads featuring cute kids hit our small screens. So in our country the story is opposite- you need to reach out the your audience, they won’t come out and search for you over Google (mostly).

I know many of you might not support my views, but this is what I think about the majority of TV viewers in India. TV business (i.e. charging advertisers for showing ads) is not going to die in India for another decade or so (although advertisers will get smarter). Channels will close down for sure (because there are too many) and consolidations will happen, DTH will emerge and with HD content people will watch more content with less advertisements, but majority of us will watch the Television content the way it is today! Hail TV!!

Manav Gohil of “K” fame talks about Indian TV industry and much more [iDubba exclusive]

You’ve known him as a popular Indian TV actor, but there’s lot more to him. A little boy from Gujarat came to Mumbai to fulfill his dreams and managed to create a niche for himself. Read to find out what he thinks of Indian TV today!

Interesting Conversation with Manav Gohil

Ruchi: What do you think about the TV content today? How has Indian TV evolved since a decade?

Manav: TV content has degenerated. It has been catering to the masses. Reality shows made their own way and they offered fresh content, so it worked. While, for soaps, I’d say that TV has evolved over the years; of course for the good. It has become more street smart. Special ‘Salaam’ to CID and its team, it takes a lot to keep a show on-air for more than a decade. It is truly commendable.

RS: Any abroad season you’d want to see on Indian Television in an Indian version? Why?

Manav: 24. According to me, it is a spectacular show. It’s a blend of good concept, suave acting, superb writing and smart editing. International shows have great budgets and are well written, edited smartly and that’s why they work so well, even with Indian audiences. People tend to get addicted to it. When I watched 24, for the first time, I was totally hooked on to it. So, I feel, if 24 is made in an Indian version, I hope that it lives up to its expectation otherwise it will be just another run-of-the-mill show. It has to overcome lot of limitations of Indian Television; execution matters the most! But I’d love to watch it in an Indian version.

RS: Well, Manav, you’re in for major entertainment here, as there is a buzz that famous Bollywood/Hollywood actor Mr. Anil Kapoor will be producing 24 for Indian audience.

RS: Your upcoming projects?

Manav: I’m in talks with a few production houses as well as writer friends of mine. Good things are yet to come and I’m waiting for it. I’m coming across lot of fresh content and genuinely good scripts and I’m sure to make a comeback on Indian TV with some different and exciting show for my audience.

RS: How was your experience shooting for Travel and Living channel?

Manav: Oh it was fantastic! It was more like a holiday or a second honeymoon. And the best part to do those kind of shows where you have to travel a lot; you meet a lot of people, plus the Government of that particular country takes special care. Meaning, they’ll treat you in such a luxurious way which might not be affordable if you’re just on a normal holiday. For me and my wife Shweta, it was a wonderful experience on the COSTA CRUISE travelling through the Mediterranean Sea. Over all, it was awesome.

RS: Would you be in for an educative or informative show?

Manav: Definitely, why not? I’d always like to be a part of something different and smarter; as long as it allows me to do other shows as well.

RS: TV producers and Channel are in a race of TRPs? And you think that is why the content is deteriorating?

Manav: Yes for the first half. And I don’t fully agree with the second half. See, Producers are making the shows for entertainment but we should not be impractical and neglect that it’s their money-making job! And I do not think content has fully deteriorated. It still has room for betterment. And I’m sure; there will be some path-breaking shows which will change the present scenario.

RS: You liked times back ‘then’ or ‘now’ in TV?

Manav: And comes an impromptu answer; ‘that good old times’ when there was nothing dirty about the TV when there was fruitful content in terms of shows like Rishtey, Gubbare, etc. In those times, people were also better. I’ve made such good friends and I’m thankful to God as I’m still blessed with them. In those days, everyone would work as a team ‘more’ for the show and nowadays I see/hear they all work more for themselves. It is really sad to know this. But this is the way it is! Few days back I was just talking to my friend Amit Sarin, and he said “we never realized we were so big.” Agree, that time also, competition prevailed but it wasn’t cut-throat like it is today.TV times back then were really pure and nowadays they are indifferent. Even 0.1 increase or decrease in ratings has an immense effect. I’d really want those ‘good old times’ to be back.

RS: One thing you like to change about Indian TV industry as a whole?

Manav: Content majorly. Once you’ve content without any loophole, rest all things will fall in place accordingly. But you need to have a strong script for any show to be a hit. Or, if you have a bad script and you have phenomenal actors, they’ll definitely make something watchable out of it. I have watched just few scenes of Bade Acche Laggte Hain; Ram and Sakshi are very good friends and I’m happy to know that show is doing well as it has fresh content to offer to audience. But even if the script would have been bad and if you’ve Ram and Sakshi; I’m sure they’d act so nicely that it’d become good. “karwa karwa ke bhi, Ram aur Sakshi se kitna kachra karwa lete” LOL! All the best to the team and I hope they keep the freshness alive in the show.

RS: What do you think of iDubba.com?

Manav: I think it’s a great initiative and I had a fabulous interview. To be very honest, I’ve never given such an interesting interview. I’d like to call; it was more of an interesting chat. 🙂 You guys are making a lot of effort to make a difference and to impart TV knowledge which is fascinating; and make TV watching easy. Let’s promote iDubba.com together.

RS: Thanks a lot Manav, for this wonderful ‘chat’ as you’d call it. And it is definitely good to know your view and I agree that content needs to be changed for the betterment obviously. Last but not the least, we all wish you and Shweta all the best as we know you’re soon going to be proud parents. 🙂

Cheers !!!

Sony Six – India’s Premier Sports Entertainment TV Channel to hit your TV soon!

So what is this new channel all about? And what does it have in store? iDubba is all set to share the information with you. This new channel is called as “Sony SIX. The name itself might suggests that it will be a full on Sports Channel. Well you are kind of right. It is also known as India’s Premier Sports Entertainment TV Channel. So let’s dig into this new Channel 😉  

In a nation where cricket dominates all sports, MSM’s channel SIX, will air a range of non-cricket sports including martial arts, basketball, football and badminton. But is this a right time to launch this channel? In an already crowded space, Sony MIX is India’s 13th sports channel and it is operated by MSM (Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd) India, which also owns Sony Entertainment Television and SET Max. Most sports tournaments are already broadcasted by rivals ESPN-Star Sports (ESS), which owns ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket, Taj Television, which runs Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Ten Action+ and Ten Golf, Nimbus Communications, which has Neo Sports and Neo Cricket and the government-owned Doordarshan Sports.You might ask that what will be different about this channel ? What kind of sports will it air? So let’s find it out.

MSM India owns the broadcast rights in India for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), New Zealand Cricket, FA Cup and NBA. As of April 2012, SIX has started showing the highlights of the IPL. News is that MSM has signed a content tie-up deal with UFC, for a four-year year period to access its library as well as live mixed martial arts fights events. Did you know that MSM has rights to broadcast IPL till 2017? And did you know that going forward, Season 6 of IPL will be shifted Sony SIX? Surprised? Shocked? Well this news is true. So will this bold move be a success? We will have to wait till the next season of IPL to find out the answer. Hang on there is also some good news for the audience; SIX has announced that it will not show any advertisements for the first 3 months 🙂

So do you think that this new attempt from Sony might work? Will the viewers tune into this new sports channel? Well time will only tell if this works. Do let us know your favourite Sports Channel and why you like it.

Happy Viewing.

Analysis on TRPs and GRPs starting this week on iDubba

We at iDubba are always striving to bring some really cool analysis on TV programs and viewership data. In an approach to take it further in that direction we are starting a special section on our blog today which will be authored by Ruchi.

Let us give you a back ground in same context-

TRPs & GRPs – Numbers do Wonders !!

The Target rating point (or TRP) is an audience measurement criterion of rating points that indicates the popularity of a television channel or program. The TRP measure helps advertisers decide which TV channels and programs to place their advertising in.

The TRP is a measure of the purchased points representing an estimate of the component of the target audience within the gross audience. Similar to the gross rating point (GRP), it is measured as the sum of ratings achieved by a specific media vehicle (e.g. TV channel or program) of the target audience reached by an advertisement. For example, if an advertisement appears more than once, reaching the entire gross audience also, the TRP figure is the sum of each individual GRP, multiplied by the estimated target audience in the gross audience.

The TRP and GRP metrics are both critical components for determining the marketing effectiveness of a particular advertisement.

TRP suggests which particular show is on number one position, while, GRP suggests which channel is on number one. There might be just one show of a channel in top 10 shows, but still it could be on number 2 position, as its over-all GRPs are high.

Collection of TV audience measurement data in India

Presently, INTAM (Indian television audience measurement) is the only electronic rating agency functioning in India. INTAM uses two methodologies for calculating TRPs.

The first is frequency monitoring, in which people meters are installed in sample homes. People meters are electronic devices, which continuously record data about the TV channels watched by household members. The ‘people meter’ is an expensive piece of equipment and is currently imported. It reads the frequencies of TV channels, which are later decoded into the name of the channels. INTAM prepares national data on the basis of these sample homes readings. There is a drawback in the technique, as cable operators frequently change the frequencies of channels before sending signals to homes. It may be very misleading to read a channel according to a particular frequency even if the down-linking frequency is same all over India.

The second technique is more reliable and relatively new to India. Via a picture-matching technique, the people meter continuously records a small portion of the picture that is being watched on that particular television set. Along with this, INTAM also records all the channels’ data in the form of the small picture portion. Data collected from the sample homes is later on matched with the main databank to interpret the TV channel name, in order to produce national ratings.

Why are these numbers so ‘important’?

WEDNESDAY!!! The day the Television industry gets its results for their last week’s performance. The day can be termed as terrific or a terrible for any show based on its performance. It makes us realize about the role TRP’s play in the decision making of the show.

The above ratings are a help to many people. Firstly, it gives an idea to the Producers as to how many people watch their shows. Secondly, it defines which slot works best for a particular TV channel. Thirdly, analyzing this information helps advertisers to market their products on the ‘perfect’ timing to hit their target audience. To viewers, these might be just numbers, but to media professionals, these numbers are an integral part. These numbers can actually make or break a show. Channel these days, do not believe in experimenting for a long time. It changes a particular track if the ratings for one week or maximum two weeks are declining. Everybody involved in the making of TV shows are working round the clock to deliver their best and every Wednesday when the ratings are out, few are happy, few are sad. But that’s the way industry functions. If the TRPs increase, there is profit to the channel as well as the producers and if it declines, it’s otherwise.

Don’t mistakenly think ratings are everything. At times, there are shows with high ratings but hardly people around you know about it. And there are shows with not so high ratings, but everybody around you is talking about that show. So, there is a difference between ‘the-most-viewed-show’ and ‘the-most-talked about-show’. According to me, Diya Aur Baati Hum and Bade Acche Laggte Hain, respectively, are the best examples to describe this!

And I’m sure, all the ardent fans of the show would be very curious to know how the show is doing TRP wise. It’s of course good to be updated.

The ratings are never dormant and there are unexpected changes every week. Let us see how the graph changes every week.

Stay tuned, we will bring you weekly analysis on this!!

[Note: This blog is co-authored by Ruchi, who will start writing a series of Blogs on iDubba from today onwards]

Are you bored by Celebrity Endorsements?

Dhoni Selling Engine Oil, Sachin selling Inverters, Virat Kohli selling watches and bikes and so on…The list is endless! As you know there are lot of advertisements that are featuring celebrities and to add to it, they are charging crores for the same. Almost every other product is marketed using celebrities and at times it is gets so confusing that you end up thinking who is promoting what.

The most important thing is that the celebrity should be able to connect with the consumer and in this process celebrities’ credibility also comes into picture. The consumer should have a credible belief that the celebrity would be interested in buying and using the product. But there are also times when celebrities distract attention from the message being conveyed. The best example for this is Katrina Kaif in Slice ad, this ad increases the glam factor but the audience hardly focuses on the product and diverts the entire attention on the actress.

Who can forget advertisements, featuring stars like Tabassum (Prestige pressure cookers), Jalal Agha (Pan Parag), Kapil Dev (Palmolive Shaving Cream) and Sunil Gavaskar (Dinesh Suitings). They were classics and one could easily relate these products with the stars promoting these products. A standard example here is Coke, which, till recently, didn’t use stars at all internationally. But in India it was a first for them. The result was a hit where in we remember Aamir saying “Thanda matlab Coca Cola”.

But there are also times when the product suffers due to the actions, behavior or popularity of a celebrity. Everyone was aware of the fact that Tiger Woods was dropped by Nike as their celebrity brand. And the latest one was Saif Ali Khan with the recent punching episode. So when he says “Have I made it Large” the audience will surely recollect his previous acts (misbehavior). In the recent times the market is flooded with celebrities endorsing many products .

Having a new celebrity every few years doesn’t make sense. Not to forget, today’s consumer is well informed and difficult to impress, and they are only influenced by advertisements that are relevant and provide information. Consumers don’t want to have products pushed at them, even if its from a celebrity. So are you bored by Celebrity Endorsements? Do let us know your favourite brand promoted by a Celebrity 🙂

Happy Buying… oops.. Happy Viewing.

Fear Factor Khatron ke khiladi season 3! is all set to hit soon with a difference

Fear Factor 3

Fear Factor for the last two seasons was hosted by our very own “khiladiyon ka khiladi” Akshay Kumar. Akshay kumar was seen with 13 divas last season.But this season, FF fans will be surprised for there is a twist in the tale.According to sources, unlike all other seasons, this season will be hosted by bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra.

its not all over yet!!

Moreover the contestents this time will be IPL players.Well Priyanka must be excited about hosting this IPL special edition of Fear Factor.It is said  that the cricketers who may  participate in the show include Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, and Aussie cricketers Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee.Well lets see…

Anyways, i will miss Akshay Kumar and i hope so do all Akshay Kumar fans.

When asked about the show,priyanka said

It’s exciting to be associated with some of the biggest names from the world of cricket. I’ve been a huge fan of Fear Factor, and I’m so looking forward to starting a new innings on television…

Well you must be wondering, when you discovered the association of the show with IPL, how come Lalit Modi is quite?Well you are right he will never be quite about this, and he should not be, after all he is the founder of IPL.

this is what he said Commenting on the COLORS partnership,

Our partnership with COLORS takes the IPL cricketainment quotient into an all new orbit. I have always maintained that the IPL is a cricketing carnival like no other and with this unique partnership that we have entered on behalf of our franchisees, we are delivering on our promise to extend the IPL franchise beyond cricket, beyond the IPL season and quite frankly beyond imagination. This unique entertainment proposition will combine our IPL cricketers’ mass appeal and COLORS flagship format shows to create an unprecedented genre of cricketainment.

the fans are already talking about this news, and those who didn’t like the show for some reason, may like this season as they can’t avoid the charisma of cricket players…