Indian people on the whole are a fun lot. They love their entertainment and take it quite seriously. It doesn’t matter if it is the small screen within their home or the big one at the nearest single screen/multiplex. A mere walk around in the cities is enough to reassure one on this observation.
It was sometime post the nineties when the economy was thrown open to the private sector that the citizens of the country woke up to discover more than one option to the Hindi TV channel on the idiot box. The country seemed to transform overnight. A remote control unit that had been considered to be a lavish overkill suddenly acquired the most-coveted label.
The programming and indeed, all the other aspects of the industry too underwent a revolution of sorts. The quality of content improved, with the variety and scope of the TV shows expanding beyond imagination. Directors and script writers worked in close consultation with specialized agencies to churn out content that was closely in tune with the needs and aspirations of the newly-liberalized viewers. The industry also discovered that sub-par programming would no longer be tolerated and would quickly be slammed in full public view.
Another area where the content revolution blew its winds of change was in the case of the Bollywood movie channel. Print and sound quality improved, lesser advertorial breaks were scheduled and people began to enjoy the latest releases featuring their favourite stars. Everything was starting to align itself with the viewer and their demands. Earlier, viewers would have to wait endlessly before a newly released movie would be shown on the telly. However, network managers opened negotiations with producers and negotiated to showcase their masterpieces within a few months, if not weeks of their theatrical release.
Thus, entertainment channels, irrespective of whether they were streaming Hindi movies or soaps, finally got onto the modernization highway and have been going flat out ever since. Naysayers only have to switch on the telly on any given day and they’ll discover how much things have changed.