Mumbai, Nov 10 (IANS) Pending the solution of a festering dispute between producers and cine workers, India's entertainment TV channels decided Monday evening to re-telecast their old programmes.
'The repeat telecast of old programmes have already started from today (Monday),' Albert Almeida, senior vice president of Sony Entertainment, told the media.
The dispute has led to the producers demanding hikes of up to 140 percent for fresh programmes that the TV channels say they are not in a position to bear.
Almedia said he was not in a position to immediately say how long the channels would re-run their old programmes.
Entertainment channels had given an ultimatum to TV producers asking them to resolve all differences related to hiking the wages of daily wage workers by Nov 9, failing which the channels would be forced to stop running regular shows and switch to replaying the already aired episodes.
Uday Shankar, CEO of Star TV, said while the channels were sympathetic to the problems being faced by the producers, they were hard-pressed to come to their aid in view of the current slowdown of the economy.
'But this is not the main reason for our turning down their plea for hiking the per-episode budget of their programmes,' he added.
The top executives of most of the general entertainment channels who attended the media meet, however, refused to comment on the advertisers' ultimatum to the channels that they would pull back the block booking of advertisements on popular programmes unless they started telecasting fresh shows within 10 days.
'All I can say is that, for now, the status quo will remain vis-a-vis our arrangements with the sponsors,' Sameer Nair, CEO of NDTV Imagine, remarked.
Rajesh Kamat of Colours channel pointed out that there would be no change in the telecast of the popular programme 'Bigg Boss' as it deals with the daily interactions of a group of people locked in a house under 24X7 camera surveillance.