Nov 30, 2020
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Headline, Industry News

Bollywood worries about attack impact

Terrorism cast a shadow over Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry by volume. But as the smoke clears from the Nov. 26 attacks, Hollywood studios with Indian interests remain committed.

When, last Wednesday, a gang of approximately 10 men stormed Mumbai with automatic weapons, killing 183 people, including 18 foreigners, business in India’s financial capital ground to a halt. An additional 239 were wounded, including 22 foreign visitors to the port city of 19 million on India’s West coast.

Cinemas — some set to open “Max Payne” from Twentieth Century Fox — closed Thursday and Friday, and many stayed shuttered Saturday. The five-star Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel — the sometime Bollywood home to many a celebrity and media executive — burned a third day. Indian commandos did not finish rooting out the attackers at the Taj and at other sites around the city until Saturday night.

Australian TV actress Brooke Satchwell, 28, barely escaped a Taj bathroom with her life as gunmen mowed down guests in the hallway. German media entrepreneur Ralf Burkei, 51, was not so lucky. He tried to escape from leaping from the hotel, and died on the way to the hospital.

“This is a shocking blow to all of those in India and all of those who do business there,” said Pete Smith, London-based president of NBC Universal International, who has led expansion in Asia and said he regards India as one of the most exciting growth prospects.

Smith, a regular in India to work with Mumbai and New Delhi-based channel group NDTV — in which NBC Uni has a 26% stake — said that travel to Mumbai was out for now. He added, however, that he would be flying to India’s capital, New Delhi, this week.

The tragedy comes at a time when Bollywood was very much on Hollywoods’s lips. Mumbai-industrialist Anil Ambani recently invested $550 million to back Steven Spielberg’s new studio. In addition, a day before the attacks, veteran screenwriter Paul Schrader said he was bound for Mumbai to write and direct the Bollywood action movie “Extreme City.” One of the fall’s nascent hits is “Slumdog Millionaire,” Danny Boyle’s romantic-action tale set in India. Indie director Jennifer Lynch is making the India-set mystery “Hisss.” Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment inked a deal to produce two movies with Indian entertainment company UTV.

However, some wonder what the affects of the attack will have on the industry.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse as media sentiment for next year is soft,” said Asia media industry analyst Vivek Couto. “What will be important to see are capital flows in India.”

In 2007, India received a record $98 billion in capital inflows. Over the first half of 2008, inflows were healthy. However, they have slowed in recent months along with the broader global economic downturn, said Couto, director of Hong Kong-based Media Partners Asia.

Cricketers from Australia and Pakistan have backed out of an Indian tournament set to broadcast on ESPN Star Sports Dec. 3, said Couto. In addition, Ambani’s Reliance Big Broadcasting has put off launching new channels.

Spokespeople from many media companies with Indian interests said that at this stage they simply are monitoring the situation.

Abhinav Chopra, Viacom’s vp for human resources said all the company’s employees were safe and that the attacks had had no adverse affections on operations. Alannah Hall-Smith, Disney Asia Pacific’s vp for corporate communications, said, “The situation in India is terribly sad. We remain committed to our dedicated teams and the Indian market.”

Compounding the fresh image problem facing the media industry is a forecast drop in Indian advertising revenue growth to 12.1% in 2009, down from a rise of 17.6% this year, and 22.1% in 2007, Couto said.

“This means that the ad pie in highly-competitive TV and print markets will not be as infinite as new entrants and expanding incumbents may have hoped for,” Couto said, adding that the rising costs to produce and distribute TV content also was adding pressure.

How Mumbai’s markets — India’s biggest — the city’s consumers, and, by extension, its media industries fare in the days and months ahead will depend partly on the strength, focus and execution of the government, soon up for reelection.

NBC’s Smith said: “But we all feel very confident that the authorities will act to resolve the situation.”

Indeed, Couto expects that Indian media companies will grow at an average annual rate of 23% over the next two years, boosted by a stronger ad economy and media distribution, rising margins due to greater controls of production costs, the growth of subscription and program sales revenue.

“Overall, it’s an encouraging picture but next year will prove challenging as sales growth falls below 25% from 40% in 2008 while earnings growth is more than halved to 3.3% vs 7.2% in 2008, and average profit margins slip to 14% from 17%,” Couto said.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Headline, Industry News

Bollywood worries about attack impact

Terrorism cast a shadow over Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry by volume. But as the smoke clears from the Nov. 26 attacks, Hollywood studios with Indian interests remain committed.

When, last Wednesday, a gang of approximately 10 men stormed Mumbai with automatic weapons, killing 183 people, including 18 foreigners, business in India’s financial capital ground to a halt. An additional 239 were wounded, including 22 foreign visitors to the port city of 19 million on India’s West coast.

Cinemas — some set to open “Max Payne” from Twentieth Century Fox — closed Thursday and Friday, and many stayed shuttered Saturday. The five-star Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel — the sometime Bollywood home to many a celebrity and media executive — burned a third day. Indian commandos did not finish rooting out the attackers at the Taj and at other sites around the city until Saturday night.

Australian TV actress Brooke Satchwell, 28, barely escaped a Taj bathroom with her life as gunmen mowed down guests in the hallway. German media entrepreneur Ralf Burkei, 51, was not so lucky. He tried to escape from leaping from the hotel, and died on the way to the hospital.

“This is a shocking blow to all of those in India and all of those who do business there,” said Pete Smith, London-based president of NBC Universal International, who has led expansion in Asia and said he regards India as one of the most exciting growth prospects.

Smith, a regular in India to work with Mumbai and New Delhi-based channel group NDTV — in which NBC Uni has a 26% stake — said that travel to Mumbai was out for now. He added, however, that he would be flying to India’s capital, New Delhi, this week.

The tragedy comes at a time when Bollywood was very much on Hollywoods’s lips. Mumbai-industrialist Anil Ambani recently invested $550 million to back Steven Spielberg’s new studio. In addition, a day before the attacks, veteran screenwriter Paul Schrader said he was bound for Mumbai to write and direct the Bollywood action movie “Extreme City.” One of the fall’s nascent hits is “Slumdog Millionaire,” Danny Boyle’s romantic-action tale set in India. Indie director Jennifer Lynch is making the India-set mystery “Hisss.” Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment inked a deal to produce two movies with Indian entertainment company UTV.

However, some wonder what the affects of the attack will have on the industry.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse as media sentiment for next year is soft,” said Asia media industry analyst Vivek Couto. “What will be important to see are capital flows in India.”

In 2007, India received a record $98 billion in capital inflows. Over the first half of 2008, inflows were healthy. However, they have slowed in recent months along with the broader global economic downturn, said Couto, director of Hong Kong-based Media Partners Asia.

Cricketers from Australia and Pakistan have backed out of an Indian tournament set to broadcast on ESPN Star Sports Dec. 3, said Couto. In addition, Ambani’s Reliance Big Broadcasting has put off launching new channels.

Spokespeople from many media companies with Indian interests said that at this stage they simply are monitoring the situation.

Abhinav Chopra, Viacom’s vp for human resources said all the company’s employees were safe and that the attacks had had no adverse affections on operations. Alannah Hall-Smith, Disney Asia Pacific’s vp for corporate communications, said, “The situation in India is terribly sad. We remain committed to our dedicated teams and the Indian market.”

Compounding the fresh image problem facing the media industry is a forecast drop in Indian advertising revenue growth to 12.1% in 2009, down from a rise of 17.6% this year, and 22.1% in 2007, Couto said.

“This means that the ad pie in highly-competitive TV and print markets will not be as infinite as new entrants and expanding incumbents may have hoped for,” Couto said, adding that the rising costs to produce and distribute TV content also was adding pressure.

How Mumbai’s markets — India’s biggest — the city’s consumers, and, by extension, its media industries fare in the days and months ahead will depend partly on the strength, focus and execution of the government, soon up for reelection.

NBC’s Smith said: “But we all feel very confident that the authorities will act to resolve the situation.”

Indeed, Couto expects that Indian media companies will grow at an average annual rate of 23% over the next two years, boosted by a stronger ad economy and media distribution, rising margins due to greater controls of production costs, the growth of subscription and program sales revenue.

“Overall, it’s an encouraging picture but next year will prove challenging as sales growth falls below 25% from 40% in 2008 while earnings growth is more than halved to 3.3% vs 7.2% in 2008, and average profit margins slip to 14% from 17%,” Couto said.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

Bollywood worries about attack impact

Terrorism cast a shadow over Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry by volume. But as the smoke clears from the Nov. 26 attacks, Hollywood studios with Indian interests remain committed.

When, last Wednesday, a gang of approximately 10 men stormed Mumbai with automatic weapons, killing 183 people, including 18 foreigners, business in India’s financial capital ground to a halt. An additional 239 were wounded, including 22 foreign visitors to the port city of 19 million on India’s West coast.

Cinemas — some set to open “Max Payne” from Twentieth Century Fox — closed Thursday and Friday, and many stayed shuttered Saturday. The five-star Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel — the sometime Bollywood home to many a celebrity and media executive — burned a third day. Indian commandos did not finish rooting out the attackers at the Taj and at other sites around the city until Saturday night.

Australian TV actress Brooke Satchwell, 28, barely escaped a Taj bathroom with her life as gunmen mowed down guests in the hallway. German media entrepreneur Ralf Burkei, 51, was not so lucky. He tried to escape from leaping from the hotel, and died on the way to the hospital.

“This is a shocking blow to all of those in India and all of those who do business there,” said Pete Smith, London-based president of NBC Universal International, who has led expansion in Asia and said he regards India as one of the most exciting growth prospects.

Smith, a regular in India to work with Mumbai and New Delhi-based channel group NDTV — in which NBC Uni has a 26% stake — said that travel to Mumbai was out for now. He added, however, that he would be flying to India’s capital, New Delhi, this week.

The tragedy comes at a time when Bollywood was very much on Hollywoods’s lips. Mumbai-industrialist Anil Ambani recently invested $550 million to back Steven Spielberg’s new studio. In addition, a day before the attacks, veteran screenwriter Paul Schrader said he was bound for Mumbai to write and direct the Bollywood action movie “Extreme City.” One of the fall’s nascent hits is “Slumdog Millionaire,” Danny Boyle’s romantic-action tale set in India. Indie director Jennifer Lynch is making the India-set mystery “Hisss.” Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment inked a deal to produce two movies with Indian entertainment company UTV.

However, some wonder what the affects of the attack will have on the industry.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse as media sentiment for next year is soft,” said Asia media industry analyst Vivek Couto. “What will be important to see are capital flows in India.”

In 2007, India received a record $98 billion in capital inflows. Over the first half of 2008, inflows were healthy. However, they have slowed in recent months along with the broader global economic downturn, said Couto, director of Hong Kong-based Media Partners Asia.

Cricketers from Australia and Pakistan have backed out of an Indian tournament set to broadcast on ESPN Star Sports Dec. 3, said Couto. In addition, Ambani’s Reliance Big Broadcasting has put off launching new channels.

Spokespeople from many media companies with Indian interests said that at this stage they simply are monitoring the situation.

Abhinav Chopra, Viacom’s vp for human resources said all the company’s employees were safe and that the attacks had had no adverse affections on operations. Alannah Hall-Smith, Disney Asia Pacific’s vp for corporate communications, said, “The situation in India is terribly sad. We remain committed to our dedicated teams and the Indian market.”

Compounding the fresh image problem facing the media industry is a forecast drop in Indian advertising revenue growth to 12.1% in 2009, down from a rise of 17.6% this year, and 22.1% in 2007, Couto said.

“This means that the ad pie in highly-competitive TV and print markets will not be as infinite as new entrants and expanding incumbents may have hoped for,” Couto said, adding that the rising costs to produce and distribute TV content also was adding pressure.

How Mumbai’s markets — India’s biggest — the city’s consumers, and, by extension, its media industries fare in the days and months ahead will depend partly on the strength, focus and execution of the government, soon up for reelection.

NBC’s Smith said: “But we all feel very confident that the authorities will act to resolve the situation.”

Indeed, Couto expects that Indian media companies will grow at an average annual rate of 23% over the next two years, boosted by a stronger ad economy and media distribution, rising margins due to greater controls of production costs, the growth of subscription and program sales revenue.

“Overall, it’s an encouraging picture but next year will prove challenging as sales growth falls below 25% from 40% in 2008 while earnings growth is more than halved to 3.3% vs 7.2% in 2008, and average profit margins slip to 14% from 17%,” Couto said.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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