Hyderabad: Imagine watching films streamed directly to your mobile phones – with no data consumed. This could become a reality in the next 3-4 years.
Union secretary for information and broadcasting Apurva Chandra on Tuesday said Indian citizens would soon be able to watch high-quality film and entertainment content on their mobile phones, with no data consumption.
“In India, we never think of data costs, since data is much cheaper than in other countries. That gives a huge opportunity to the media and entertainment industry. With 5G coming, there is another opportunity of direct-to-mobile broadcast. Prasar Bharati, in collaboration with IIT Kanpur, has come up with a proof-of-concept, where more than 200 channels can be watched and high-quality films can be watched on mobile phones, without consuming any data, using direct-to-mobile broadcast,” he said. The Secretary expressed confidence that this change would happen within the next 3-4 years.
Apurva Chandra has exhorted the media and entertainment industry to set a target of growing the industry to more than 100 billion dollars by the year 2030. “India will be a 10 trillion dollar economy in the next 10 years, we should target that the media and entertainment sector should grow to more than 100 billion dollars by 2030. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will do whatever it takes to support the M&E sector and help it grow.” The Secretary was addressing the inaugural session of FICCI Frames Fast Track 2022 in Mumbai.
The Secretary announced that the Government of India would work with the states and formulate a Model Theatre Policy. “Over the past 5-6 years, the number of theatres has been on a decline. We need to reverse this trend. We will assign the Film Facilitation Office to work with Invest India to come up with a single-window portal for opening theatres, so that more and more theatres can come up and the public gets more avenues to watch the magic of films in theatres. We will also work with the states to create a Model Theatre Policy, so that the states can adopt and work on the same.”
Observing that viewing habits of people have changed due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary noted that when ticket prices were brought down to Rs. 75 three days back, all shows were full. “This shows that if price points are right, people can afford theatres. The craving to go to the theatres is there, so we need to work on how we can bring people back to theatres.”
It may be mentioned here that in the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, a large number of theatres closed down in the last one decade. More single screens are closing down. This has got the film industry together on how to get audiences back into theatres and prevent closure of theatres.
Source: Times of India