The Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce has decided not to release any movies in the theatres in the two Telugu speaking states from March 1. They are planning this as a protest against the unreasonable prices being charged by digital service providers.
On a request from the Tolly industry, TFPC president and actor Vishal, after consulting his members, gave their support to the former. Now it is learnt that Malayalam and Kannada industries have also given their consent for the strike, which means there won’t be any shows throughout the four southern states of India, if the service providers refuse to heed the producers’ demands. A final decision on the strike is awaited as the representatives of the four states are scheduled to meet on Wednesday.
Talking on the issue, Vishal said, “Work to source alternative arrangements to these DSPs —such as setting up our own digital distribution infrastructure — is going on. A few companies are ready to offer services at a lower cost. Lower fees will only benefit small film producers. As of now, the distribution companies are not being fair.”
Another big producer, on condition of anonymity, explained how these digital service providers, including UFO, Real Image, Sony, Aerox, Pro Vision, Scrabble among others, milk the producers. “There are approximately 1,200 screens in Tamil Nadu and they are charging Rs10,000 per week per theatre. They have all recovered their investment cost long back. And they are also getting revenue from ads through our content from theatres. We heard that after theatre owners started raising their voice, the DSPs started sharing the ad revenues. And they earn Rs 3 to 4 lakhs per year from each theatre from these ads. Imagine the kind of money they are making at our cost. So, we are asking them to waive the fees for their service.”
We will know if the DSPs would come to an amicable solution during the course of the week when the Digital Service Providers meet the representatives of the four states.
Meanwhile, some Tamil movies reportedly scheduled for a March release including Vijay Antony’s Kaali,Vishal’s Irumbu Thirai, Vikranth- Mysshkin-Suseendharn’s Suttu Pidikka Uttharavu, Gautham’s Ennai Nokki Paayum Thotta etc, may be keeping their fingers crossed....