NEW DELHI : Tamil movie Doctor which made the cash registers ring after its theatrical release earlier this month will have its first satellite on Sun TV followed by an OTT launch on Netflix on November 4 for the Diwali weekend. The action thriller was directed by Nelson Dilipkumar and stars Sivakarthikeyan in the lead role.
Sure, bypassing theatrical release in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic may be common right now, but some filmmakers, especially in the south, prefer a TV premiere instead of streaming movies on OTT. (over-the-top) platforms as an alternative.
Vijay Sethupathi Tughlaq Darbar, Reliance Entertainment Mandela and Aelay and Tamil cinema Sarbath are among the titles that have seen a satellite TV release in recent months, taking advantage of holiday weekends when broadcasters are known to grab the attention of family audiences and good festive publicity. The strategy works best for low-budget movies that make a profit from selling rights via satellite followed by a digital first, not being able to command the high rates that OTT platforms are willing to pay when they compete for the big stars, mainstream films for direct. -to the digital output.
TV premiere is viable for low-budget movies, industry experts say, which can then be followed by an OTT release, as sales together help them easily recoup their ??3 crore- ??4 million budgets. For bigger budget movies, especially in Hindi, streaming platforms are willing to pay almost double the rates offered by TV channels, up to ??60-65 crore in some cases, explaining why more traditional vehicles would prefer to switch to OTT first if theatrical release is not possible.
While streaming services are eager to acquire ready-made movies, including in regional languages, much of the excitement is limited to big titles with familiar faces. Small films ready to be released but blocked because of the covid-19 pandemic, have no other choice but to turn to emerging, niche platforms that do not offer the same kind of prices. In such a scenario, TV premieres are a good option, especially to be able to reach a family audience.
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