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No new TV serials as workers-producers fight


Rohit Khilnani,CNN-IBN
Nov 09, 2008 at 10:35am IST

Mumbai: Hindi general entertainment channels are going to only show old episodes of serials from Sunday midnight.

Due to the ongoing feud between entertainment channels and show producers the channels may not go ahead with any fresh programming and till the channels and producers reach a settlement, viewers will have to manage with re-runs.

Seven major broadcasters have threatened a blackout of fresh programming as a collective response to the inability to bear the increased costs due to higher wages being paid to TV workers and technicians that have been thrust upon producers.

In a letter the channels have given a final ultimatum to the TV workers union - Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) - and TV producers associations to resolve their differences by November 9, failing which they will stop commissioning any fresh episodes.

"What all Hindi general entertainment channels are doing is we are only going to run repeat content starting midnight Sunday. What we foresee is because of all the amount of strife that is going on, we have all been forced into a corner where we have to take such a step of asking producers to stop production of episodes because of the kind of input costs that we face," says Keertan Adyanthayan, GM, Star Plus.

Since channels have been paying the show producers regularly, it is now their turn to cope with the increased wages of workers.

"This is also because of recession. The ad guys are not paying the channels so I guess the channels are not paying the producers. But I hear some meetings are taking place to resolve the issue. This is the biggest sign of recession," says Ekta Kapoor, Creative Head, Balaji Telefilms.

The two parties involved have to decide if they can given in to the channels demand or deal with the week-long blackout for which they will also have to bear the brunt.

(With inputs from Mihir Trivedi)

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