Blog Post

BBC Content, Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi At; On TV Content Online

I had written (grumbled) in the past, about the BBC not giving access to historical video content related to India and Pakistan, to viewers from India, so it comes as a pleasant surprise to find that Rajshri Media tied-up with the BBC for streaming some of that historical content. The newly launched section called BBC Motion Gallery has historical clips of Indira Gandhi, The Indo- Bangladesh Peace Treaty, British PM Attlee, the Indian Cricket Team’s Homecoming after winning the 1983 World Cup, among others…The Windows Media Streaming is a real pain, though, and I wish they’d used flash. No clips is longer 3 minutes, so they can probably be used for mobile as well.

But more importantly, I noticed that Rajshri has launched episodes of the iconic “Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”, a Balaji Telefilms serial from STAR TV. These episodes are free to air, so there’s advertising revenue share on offer, but not available for download at Rajshri. The same is available for download on STAR’s own site – Indyaondemand, here.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, there’s no exclusivity of content online. Content distributors (in this case STAR), will offer it via several portals and platforms for monetization, and anything over the TV revenues (where exclusivity is necessary), is extra. It’s only when online and mobile revenues are significant, will they strive for ownership of platforms and portals, that exclusivity will make a comeback as a differentiator online. That’s when another issue will raise it’s head; like in case of the Writers Guild of America strike in the USA, content creators and producers (and not aggregators like STAR and ZEE), will demand a greater share of the pie on account of new media revenues. But for that to happen, video content consumption and revenues from India have to become significant.