How the invasion of ‘Television’ became a threat to the Film Industry?
Television first started in America in the year 1928, while in India, Television or Doordarshan (DD) started on Sept 15, 1959, in Delhi. The Mumbai Doordarshan began in 1972. Initially, TV was the identity of the rich and the famous. It was expensive, and only the rich could afford it. However, after the ’80s TV became a household feature. In 1982, with India hosting the Asian Games in India, the Indian TV industry became more famous with the introduction of color TV! Further, in the ’90s, the invasion of Satellite TV like Zee TV, Star Plus, Sony Entertainment, etc. made TV an easy and economical source of entertainment for the common man!
Films, which were the only source of entertainment for the common man, now took a back seat, as the common man was now getting his daily dose of entertainment ‘Free’ and that too in his house! Unlike Doordarshan which telecasted old and boring films, that too; once a week was replaced by Zee TV. It telecasted new and super hit films! What’s more, Zee TV started an exclusive Cinema Channel called ZEE Cinema that showed films 24X7! The cine buffs could now watch their favorite movies, any time of the day, at their leisure.
Television thus became a stiff competitor of the film industry. It weakened the economics of the film industry business. Half of the cine buff, who watched films to release stress, watched films at home! It reduced the box office collection of new films. The film producers were in dilemma!
The worst-hit was the exhibitor industry that did the business of exhibiting the re-releasing of Golden Era films. Manoj Desai, Executive Director of G7 Multiplex and Maratha Mandir cinema, said, “In the ’70s and ’80s there was a great demand for the re-release of old classic films like Junglee, Guide, Bees Saal Baad, Chori Chori, Do Badan, etc. We did mind blogging business. These films were generally, released in matinee show (10 am to 12 pm), and the young college crowd would throng cinema halls. We would have a house full board, every day.” He added, “However, after the satellite TV invasion, these films lost their value. These films were telecast frequently on TV on public demand, thus ended the era of Matinee Show!”
Readers would be surprised to know, like Manoj Desai, several theatre owners would mint money through Matinee Shows. Besides theatre owners, there was an independent industry of such exhibitors’ who made money through the re-run of the golden era cinema. Besides, these exhibitors’, the re-run films of the golden era was a favorite of organizers who organized the Ganesh festival or Satyanarayan Puja. During the 10 days of the Ganesh festival in Mumbai, there was a huge demand for re-run films that were shown at night in open space of chawls, or large ground, and the public watched these films with great passion late till 1 am or 2 am!
Regrettably, the invasion of TV and satellite TV eliminated these exhibitors’ community, who were then forced to take up the alternate source of income.