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South India dominates regional language film industry: report

Tamil cinema industry alone produces over 250 movies a year

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The market continues to dominate the regional language film market in the country with Tamil and Telugu being the largest language markets, according to a recent report.

Among the four southern - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam - language. industry alone produces over 250 movies per annum.

In 2013, the two biggest successes for the Tamil industry were 'Vishwaroopam' and 'Arrambam' collecting Rs 200 crore and Rs 100 crore respectively, according to FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2014.

Other movies such as 'Singam 2',' Soodhu Kavvum', 'Raja Rani', 'Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam' and 'Theeya Vela Seiyyanum Kumaru' did a business of above Rs 50 crore each, with additional revenues coming from international markets such as Australia, Malaysia and United Kingdom.

The Telugu film industry witnessed wider release, higher occupancy and greater success. 'Attarintiki Daredi' was the biggest movie release of 2013. The movie earned revenues of almost Rs 187 crore across 1,200 screens with an occupancy rate of 100 per cent across several screens in Andhra Pradesh.

The report quoted Shibashish Sarkar, chief financial officer, Reliance Entertainment stating that films of regional markets (especially those in the south) are much stronger than Bollywood films. The sheer percentage of footfalls in theatres are disproportionately higher in case of Tamil and Telugu films. Theatre infrastructure needs to be further improved in regional markets to further increase the absolute theatrical contribution.

As far as TV channels penetration is concerned, the report noted, South is a key market from an advertisement and subscription perspective, accounting for around 35 per cent of all C&S subscribers in the country. The penetration of TV as well as C&S in the South region is more than the all India average.

Tamil Nadu has the highest penetration of C&S and the largest advertising market amongst the four states. Sun TV Network maintains the leadership positions in three of the four South Indian language markets.

The content mix is heavily focused on fiction and movies in South India. While non-fiction shows have made inroads in the South Indian television market, they remain a small proportion of the content mix.

As per industry discussions, even though non-fiction shows help create marketing buzz about the channel and help advertisers in generating top-of-the-mind recall, they do not generate enough viewership to justify the higher production costs.

Movies play a more dominant role in the content mix on South Indian regional GECs than on Hindi GECs. Apart from showing movies, comedy clips and music from movies also comprise a significant component of the content mix. In the past, Sun TV Network has been the largest purchaser of C&S rights for movies in South Indian languages garnering 70-80 per cent share of movies.

However, in the recent years, Maa TV in Telugu and Suvarna TV (Star-Asianet) in Kannada have increased competition for C&S rights for movies. Zee Entertainment's South Indian language channels, Zee Telugu and Zee Kannada have also increased their investment in building a movie library. As a result of increasing competition, C&S rights for movies in South Indian regional languages have also increased significantly.

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