With international formats ruling Indian television, is it the end of local offerings? Here is industry's take on the exciting debate between inspired creativity and indigenous, home-grown ideas.
Director, Real Global Broadcasting
Broadcasters such as Zee and MTV are into local innovations in a big way. Boogie Woogie has been around for almost 14 years. Regional language television in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada is home to some of the best, local, low-cost indigenous formats. But the media finds it easier to hype up something that's travelled to, say, 22 countries courtesy Google search.
Chief Operating Officer, Lodestar Universal
International format shows are only a small part of the total programmes on a channel. It is important to have different types of programmes running on the channel.
There is a higher propensity of metro-dwellers viewing international formats and the ratings too corroborate it. Presently, TV channels are producing a lot of programmes where they start with an idea, conceptualise and script it, look for producers and then produce it.
Programming Head, Zee TV
When people buy formats they are not only buying an idea but also access to the creative talent related to the concept and a rich experience of what worked - and what did not - in relation to the particular format.
Moreover, in the Indian TV space, local innovation has always been a permanent fixture. Speaking for Zee, we have hugely popular home-grown properties such as Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Dance India Dance. In fact, Zee is selling its internally-developed formats to other countries.
Editor, Brunch (HT)
Since, game shows and reality shows do not follow a rigid format, it is easier to pick western concepts and rope in a desi celebrity to produce an Indian version.
More imported formats are also visible because, of late, foreign production houses such as Endemol have set up shop in the country. It is natural for them to bring some of the most successful formats to India.
International shows - for many - work out to be an easy proposition to spin out talking points and generate easy buzz. But we must not lose sight of some of the successful home-grown content such as Zee's Antakshari, MTV Roadies and STAR One's Great Indian Laughter Challenge.
(Points of View (POV) is a regular column which carries opinions of industry professionals on a current topic of discussion in the advertising, media and marketing industry.)First Published : September 10, 2009