The dispute between Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and TV producers’ association has forced TV channels to show repeat telecast of all the daily soaps and serials. Interestingly, the viewership of some of the popular serials repeat telecast is on rise – Star Plus and Colors channel witnessing that their popular serials viewership on rise. “Balika Vadhu“ on Colors, “Nach Baliye 4” and “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” on Star One, “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009” on Zee TV and many popular serials on Star Plus including “Baa Bahu aur Baby” are showing increase in viewership. These viewers justified that they missed the initials episodes and this is the nice time to catch up. While some even went ahead and said initial episodes are more interesting than the later ones as later goes dragging.
However, will the sponsors continue to sponsor the repeat telecasts? As of now they seem to be loyal with their soaps, but it will not long before they might withdraw or ask for a suitable cost benefits for sponsoring repeated episodes.
Household wives and granny seems to be spending more time in the kitchen and with the kids as they complain getting bored seeing the repeated telecast. On one of the entertainment channel, a housewife says she is trying new recipes and spending time with her kids during the PRIME TIME.
On the producer side, Mr. Mukesh Bhatt said “We no longer want to fall prey to these unions’ arm twisting tactics.” He further added – “Why should the TV producers pay the same hiked wages to their workers on par with their film industry counterparts? It just doesn’t make any business sense. TV is a smaller medium any day compared to films.”
But Dinesh Chaturvedi, General Secretary, Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) says, “The daily workers are being taken for a ride by the TV producers what with payments stalled for not just months but over a year now. No one is resorting to any threatening here. We are just demanding a fair pay structure.”
He further added “Bhatt’s call has not got any serious takers. We can give you a list of producers who are not binding themselves to the boycott call. Actress turned producer, Smriti Irani was present at their meeting but even she is not abiding by their call.”
While rise in viewership with some popular serials is a temporary phenomenon, it will be not long before those viewers also shift to music and movie channels, who have recorded a HUGE rise in the viewership. As for the audience, they can just wait and watch before the deadlock clears.