Over the past week, I have been introduced to the joys of Indian TV. The family I am staying with have a satellite dish and get all of the main domestic channels both in Hindi and the local language, Tamil. They also get a number of English language channels including Star (Rupert Murdoch’s subcontinent wide service) and BBC world. There are also a number of US channels including CNN and HBO.
Prime time slots are taken up by reality TV programmes – usually based on the X factor format, rather than that of Big Brother. Apparently, there are a lot of opportunities for singers in India. As well as the music industry itself, singers are needed in the Bollywood and Kollywood (Tamil) film industries. When the dancing kicks, off the singer takes over and the actors do their dancing thang. These singers don’t normally act but they are very big stars.
The broadcast news is pretty good here. I have been mainly watching the English language channels and coverage is pretty in-depth though normally just on a handful of stories. At the moment the main preoccupation is Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, but other big stories include the molestation of two women in Mumbai, and a woman in Bangalore, who allegedly poisoned a number of people. More about news in another post.
There are lots of commercial breaks, with ads mainly featuring famous actors or cricketers. The same ads seemed to be repeated again and again. Even the BBC runs ads though their ad breaks are much shorter and less frequent.