Exhibitors extract Rupees 5 crore cut in DSP rates
Exhibitors extract Rupees 5 crore cut in DSP rates

With one stroke, exhibitors of 1,600-odd theatres in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have extracted reduction charges worth Rs 5 crore  from the Digital Service Providers to benefit the  producers and distributors before calling off their strike.
A lot of hard bargaining by 25-member South Indian Joint Action Committee, comprising the heads of UFO and QUBE cinema resulted in the reduction of VPF rates (For E-Cinema-Rs 275 flat rate per show or in slabs of Rs 290, 250 and Rs 75 in the fifth week, whichever is opted by the producer and distributor. The refund of money for shows not screened was also mentioned). 

Similarly, for D Cinema-Rs 21,750 as flat rate for full running or Rs 10,750 in the first week and reduction in subsequent weeks till Rs 2,000 in the fifth week was fixed. This was done to leave some money in the hands of producers and distributors, unlike in the past. “By accepting these conditions, Digital Service Providers claimed that they lost Rs 5 crore out of Rs 65 crore that they earn every year in our meetings,” said Vijayender Reddy, JAC member. 

Even though the shutdown of theatres was called off on Monday, the  exhibitors wanted to resume screening of films only during this weekend. “Although, we are called off the strike on Monday, we will   resume its regular screenings  from March  9. 

However, our efforts to reduce charges will continue as we would be in constant touch with  members of UFO and QUBE. With their impending merger, we will seek more reductions in the months to come. In fact, even Bollywood filmmakers want to follow our model of protest while the Tamil film fraternity has its own plans to tackle digital service providers in their state,” said Suresh Babu, at a press conference here on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce formed a Joint Action Committee with five members each from Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam film industries to end the hegemony of Digital Service Providers and declared shutdown of 5,000 theatres in the five Southern states from March 2. 

The shutdown reportedly sent shivers down the spine of Digital Service Providers who began to hold regular meetings with JAC from last Saturday onwards to end the stalemate and ensure running of shows in all theatres. 

“We are moving from a flat weekly rate to a per show model and producers  need not pay for shows not screened. The sliding rates will allow producer and distributor to release their films when the rates are low as Rs 75 after 4th week to monetize their content at cheaper rates. 

Apart from furnishing accounting details, we would download two trailers a week, but these trailers have to be recommended by the Chamber,” said the letter of digital service provider to SIJAC( a copy of the letter with this correspondent). “In simple terms, there will be a reduction of Rs 3,000 per theatre, which will be beneficial for producers and distributors ,” concludes Reddy.