The two-month long strike called by film producers has finally come to an end Thursday (June 4, 2008) night. Confirming the news, Inox director Deepak Asher said all issues with the producers have been resolved. “The resolution is satisfactory for both sides,” he said adding that the earnings profile would not suffer due to the new terms and conditions that both parties had zeroed on. “The new revenue sharing model has an element of performance-based evaluation,” he added.
Talking about the T20 matches starting today, Asher said discussions were on with rights owners to show T 20 matches.
Also Read: Multiplex, flim-producers stir ends
Here is a verbatim transcript of the exclusive interview with Deepak Asher on CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video.
Q: If you could confirm for us whether the deal has indeed been concluded and what kind of revenue sharing plan have you struck with the producers?
A: Yes, I can confirm that we have been able to resolve all outstanding issues that the multiplexes operators had with the producers and distributors. I can also confirm that the resolution is something which has satisfactory to both sides. And, hopefully, with this, the strike is now called-off and you will see the content which was bottled up for the last couple of months being released, going forward.
Q: What is this revenue sharing formula now and is it significantly different from what you were working at earlier?
A: It is something in between what the producer-distributor sector wanted and what we wanted to pay. What exactly the element of that agreement is we will be able to share with you on Monday. Both sides agreed to issue a joint press release on Monday detailing the terms of the agreement.
Q: But will your earnings profile suffer significantly because of the concession you have made from the earlier sharing arrangement?
A: I would not say that the earnings profile will suffer significantly. The formula, which has been reached as an element of performance-based evaluation. So we might end of paying higher for films that perform well on the box office parameter. But we would not mind doing that because it will be based on a film has actually done well.
Q: So you do not see any dip in your earnings because of the new sharing?
A: I am not saying that all. I am saying that the earnings would be a factor of several parameters—not just the payout that we make to the distributors but also the quality of content and several other issues. So, it is difficult to pin point what the impact of this particular element would be on the earnings.
Q: What would the total losses be that you have incurred over this two month plus period?
A: That is in a sense a notional question because I am not sure they were any releases waiting to happen over the last two months time. Thus, perhaps, the losses would be a function of what would have happened in absence of this, versus what happened if the releases would have happened. If there weren’t any releases over the last two months then perhaps the whole question of losses might have been notional.
But apart from that, what I would like to say that is, in any case, if there were some content, which was bottled up, you will see that getting released in the next few days.
Q: There has been some talk that you may actually want to show T20 World Cup matches as well in multiplexes. Is Inox considering that?
A: Well we look at all options—anything that creates value for our shareholders as well as satisfies our patrons.
Q: The tournament starts today, so you would have made up your mind I presume? Will you show matches or not?
A: We are discussing that. I would not be able to confirm that whether we are showing the matches or not. We are always open to look at all options.
Q: So you are discussing with the rights owners?
A: That is right.