Today there are more than a dozen Tamil satellite channels, who are broadcasting entertainment programmes. This has boosted the satellite television rights of Tamil films, mainly big star movies.
The market is abuzz that the leader Sun TV has purchased the satellite rights of three biggies – Vijay’s Jilla, Ajith’s Veeram and Suriya’s untitled film with Lingusamy. All the three films were purchased at fancy rates.
Some time back Jaya TV paid a record amount for Rajinikanth’s forthcoming Kochadaiiyaan. They have also snapped the rights of Ajith’s super hit Arrambam.
G Dhananjayan of Disney-UTV (South) says: “Top star films are lapped up before release by satellite channels as they have guaranteed viewership. There is competition to acquire such films among channels.”
Last week after Vishal’s Diwali release Pandiya Nadu became a hit, it was grabbed by Raj TV for a whopping amount. A beaming Vishal said: “I held on to the satellite rights of the film and decided to sell it only after film became a super hit. It is the perfect family film ideal for television and after it became hit many offers came my way. I sold it to Raj TV as they offered me the highest rate, which none of my earlier films got.”
A small film like Sutta Kadha which failed at the box-office was able to still sell their satellite rights to the newly launched Puthiya Yugam . However, Dhananjayan pointed out when it comes to small and medium budget films which are not so expected, satellite rights are not immediately sold or sold after considerable persuasion and negotiations.
Added Dhananjayan : “ In most such cases, the channels expect the films to deliver at box office first before committing to them. It should be said that, even among small and medium budget films, if the films fall under ‘expected to do well’ category, then they are lapped up before release.”
So the key for producers is to ensure that their films are either with top artistes/film makers or ensure that their films fall under ‘most expected’ category through their casting/crew, first look and trailer to pre-sell satellite rights.