In two weeks, TV channels run out of fresh content

In two weeks, TV channels run out of fresh content

‘Jothe Jotheyalli’ is a soap on Zee Kannada.

The Kannada television industry has suspended shooting from March 22 to 31. About 3,000 cast and crew are engaged in making serials, besides 500 engaged in reality shows.

According to S V Shivakumar, producer and president of the Karnataka Television Association, 85 serials are currently telecast on five leading entertainment channels -- Udaya, Colours, Colours Super, Suvarna and Zee Kannada. “We had alerted the industry a week ago of a possible shutdown. The artistes were working overtime to ensure they completed their work and generated enough content for next two weeks,” Shivakumar tells Metrolife.

Sujatha Akshaya (left) and Sudha 
Murthy in 'Kitchen Darbar’.

How will the channels manage with no new content to show? “We have never faced such a crisis before. After two weeks, we will have to manage with a repeat telecast of popular serials. The length of these episodes will have to be reworked and recreated. It is as good as generating fresh content. The new episodes will have to be short and crisp,” says Shivakumar. 

The cast of 'Manasaare'.

Post-production work will go on only if there is shooting, so at the moment it is a total shutdown. Some reality shows are shot a day prior to telecast. They incur bigger losses because they shoot with a multi-camera setup, unlike serials that go with just one or two cameras. Reality shows create content for online platforms simultaneously.

Television actor and president of the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy Suneel Puranik is currently shooting for ‘Manasaare,’ a serial on Udaya TV. Content is ready for two weeks but they will have to manage with repeat episodes after that, he says. “We can’t go off air because the TRP and revenues will be affected,” he told Metrolife. 

15 episodes at one go

Sujatha Akshaya, actor, anchor and contestant in Big Boss Season 7, appears in the serial ‘Aaratigobba Keerthigobba’ on Star Suvarna. She also hosts cookery show ‘Kitchen Darbar.’ She shot continuously for a week to get content ready for the shutdown. “We had been warned of a possible shutdown, so we worked on a war footing to get content ready. I have worked on close to 15 episodes of my cookery show and kept them ready,” says Sujatha.

Loss prospect

According to TV officials, the estimated loss, if the shutdown continues, is about Rs 100 crore a month.

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