CASBAA India Forum 2014: Is Indian content ready to go global?

Broadcasters discussed opportunities and challenges therein

Mar 06, 2014 07:07:00 PM | Article | Ananya Saha

Global content has always been consumed with great gusto in India, but is it the right time for Indian content to make it big outside of the country? Are broadcasters able to do it successfully? 

A panel comprising Bharat Ranga, chief content and creative officer, Zee Entertainment; Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors; Avinash Kaul, CEO, Times Now, ET Now and Zoom; Keertan Adyanthaya, MD India, Fox International Channels; Myleeta Aga, SVP and GM India and content head - Asia, BBC Worldwide; and Nicholas Daly, MD, Eutelsat, discussed the issues therein and possible ways forward.

Nayak voiced his concerns and said, “What really has not happened, is syndication. Moreover, there is no consolidated effort from the industry to market Indian content outside. We do not look at how we can make Indian content mainstream.” 

Kaul pointed out how Zee opened the door for Indian content outside of the country, but added, “While we have a diaspora to cater to, amongst the second generation the propensity to consume such content is dwindling very fast.”

Adyanthaya outlined how Fox engaged in exploring India and creating Indian content for the global audience. 

Ranga of Zee spoke about pricing the content right. He said, “We have spent 19 years abroad but we struggled when we wanted to price ourselves. The moment we price ourselves well, half the battle is won. The benefit we had in markets like UAE was that they were content-hungry.” 

He informed that the next step would be to look at mainstream content for mainstream channels. Daly of Eutelsat reaffirmed panelists’ concern about the challenge of marketing content.

Ranga underlined that every market needs a different strategy. He explained, “Between Indonesia and Malaysia, we have two different strategies. Each market is a different ball game. We invested hugely in US, and it was not easy to, but we started making money recently.”

Nayak advised, “We are sitting on a gold mine. What is missing is risk-taking appetite. You need to have to put on a different thinking hat for driving Indian content in international markets.”