People from all over the globe celebrate World Television Day today to recognise television as a key medium for educating, directing, and influencing public opinion. The General Assembly of the United Nations declared November 21 as World Television Day in 1996. While TV has been an essential medium of change, the television industry in itself has gone through a massive change from 1996 till today.
Also, with the advent of OTT, TV has started to get a lot of competition from fresh waters. So, on this World Television Day, we caught up with some of your favourite TV celebs and spoke to them about what they feel has changed over the years in the TV industry, whether is it getting tough competition from OTT, and what their viewpoint is on this rivalry between TV and OTT. Some celebs also talk about why they’re proud to be associated with the television industry.
Here’s what celebs have to say:
Television is a simple and easily accessible entertainment medium that has become a ubiquitous part of every home worldwide. It not only serves the purpose of entertainment but also plays a crucial role in educating and influencing public opinion. Over the years, TV has undergone significant technological upgrades, resulting in improved content quality. TV programs have evolved from mere entertainment to an infotainment medium, emerging as a powerful tool to connect, communicate, educate, and entertain people. Like everyone else, it is a part of our family. I take pride in being a member of countless households through my TV shows. The priceless love, adulation, and respect received from people are truly gratifying. I appreciate the regularity of TV as a professional, and the popularity it brings has been instrumental in allowing me to make a more significant positive social impact.
Earlier, TV used to be the sole medium of entertainment. However, in the present, with people becoming less patient than they once were, the television industry in India is undergoing rapid changes. There is a significant experimentation with new formats and concepts. To be honest, I don't watch much TV these days; nevertheless, it remains my bread and butter. I take pride in every aspect of television. It provides people with a head start, on-ground training, and contributes to making actors, directors, and technicians proficient in their craft.
Over the years, the TV industry has undergone significant changes, expanding opportunities for writers, producers, actors, and directors. The field offers fame, name, money, and audience appreciation. TV stands out as an industry encompassing all these elements, with shows airing throughout the day. Two major shifts are increased accessibility to opportunities and the changing longevity of shows. Now, shows can quickly succeed or fail based on ratings within a month. Despite transformative phases and evolving trends, TV remains a field where skills matter more than degrees. The collaborative teamwork feels like family, fostering both professional and personal growth. Switching roles adds depth to the journey, and the stories and characters have shaped me as an artist. I'm grateful for the opportunities and growth in TV.
Television Day holds significance as it recognizes the pivotal role of TV in educating and shaping public opinion. As a part of the news media, I acknowledge our responsibility to provide reliable and unbiased information. I've observed changes in the industry, witnessing a growing variety of content. However, there's a concern about content crossing boundaries, suggesting the need for content certification similar to films. The diverse TV landscape requires catering to different audiences while maintaining standards. Personally, I take pride in my roles as a news anchor and journalist and as part of the "Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai" show, offering diverse and fulfilling experiences in the television industry.
Television continues to be a highly influential medium in India even today. Over the past 30 years, since the introduction of satellite television in 1993, there has been a significant evolution. The reach of television has expanded to cover nearly 85% of households in India, indicating that the influence television holds on the population is far greater compared to that of OTT platforms. OTT is just beginning to enter the race, and it may take another 10-20 years for it to reach the level where television stands today.
I've proudly collaborated with Ekta Kapoor for 15 years, starting in 2000. Together, we played a crucial role in television history, drawing inspiration from the Doordarshan era. A significant moment was the launch of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) on July 3, 2000, marking a milestone. Despite changes in TV watching habits and content, transformation happens gradually, around 5% every five years. Over the past two decades, there has been a remarkable change of about ten to twelve percent overall. I'm especially proud of being part of the historic Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi launch on July 3, 2000, and the initiative to introduce film songs in TV shows, which has become a key element in making them successful.
I believe the television industry has become more audience-oriented, with a blurred line between original broadcasters and content creators. Everything seems to be tailored from the audience perspective, and the entire focus is on TRP. This shift is notable, and I feel that considering the audience was not as emphasized in the past as it is now. TV holds a very special place in my heart. I owe so much to TV because whatever I am is because of that. So that's one. But I strongly believe that TV is a platform that I cherish and I really enjoy being a part of it.
Television has undergone a significant transformation. In the past, there were fewer shows with good stories due to limited competition. Now, the abundance of shows and frequent endings seem like a drawback. I believe returning to the model of limited shows with quality stories would be beneficial. In my childhood, TV played a significant role with memorable shows on channels like Star, Sony, and Zee. Unfortunately, the current state of television reflects changing stories and production styles, influenced partly by the competition from OTT platforms. There's a notable shift towards OTT platforms, appreciated for their unique and engaging storytelling. Personally, I prefer watching OTT over traditional TV. As part of the industry, I take pride in the diversity of shows we create and our contribution to the overall growth of the entertainment sector. It feels like a perk of being an actor.
Ismail Umar Khan
Cheers to the World Celebration of the TV Industry! From black and white television to watching the Asian Games in 1982 in color, there was a time when TV was infamously called the "idiot box." If you recall the song by Bachchan Sahab (Amitabh Bachchan) - "Tv video bahut hua, sabke sar mein dard hua." But, on the contrary, TV is a boon—from news, sports, business, and spiritualism to entertainment, it offers it all. Despite tough competition, TV is here to stay. If not fiction, non-fiction, stand-up, and reality shows will fill the gap. I have been entertaining audiences since 1995. I feel fortunate to have directed all genres, including fantasy, social drama, suspense thriller, action, regional, children's shows, historical, and horror.
As an actor, I've observed significant changes in TV. Shows now feature more diverse and complex stories, with many viewers opting for on-demand streaming platforms. Due to my shooting schedule, I don't have much time to watch TV, but I'm aware of the changing landscape, impacting how people enjoy shows. The rise of OTT platforms has heightened competition with traditional TV. Actors now have diverse opportunities to showcase their talent, reaching global audiences through streaming services. This shift reflects the evolving nature of entertainment consumption. I take pride as an actor in telling interesting stories that resonate with people, and the TV industry consistently introduces new and innovative content.