In 2008, when the Indian Premier League was set to make its debut, it led to some concern among Bollywood directors and producers. They feared the big, star-studded T20 cricket tournament would draw audiences away from the big screen. Six years down, the fear seems to have ebbed, and we’ve seen more big-budget films release during the tournament.
However, now there are two more tournaments on the horizon: the Indian Super League football tournament (to start in October) will see names like Alessandro Del Piero and Robert Pirès, and has star owners like Sachin Tendulkar and Ranbir Kapoor.Again, the upcoming International Premier Tennis League (to start in November) will see Roger Federer and retired tennis star Pete Sampras, among others, in action. Besides, A-list stars such as Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan already have shows on air, which threaten to further draw eyeballs away from films.
Big stars on TV
The other big draw for the small screen is a number of shows hosted by Bollywood stars. Trade expert Vinod Mirani says, "All the three shows have been a hit in the past, and are doing well this year too."
Film-maker Subhash Ghai, meanwhile, calls it the "season of TV" thanks to the presence of Bollywood stars, "When you see big stars hosting TV shows, everyone’s interested," he says. Rajan Shahi, a TV show producer, believes that the promotion of these TV shows have been on par with films, "These promotional activities have helped generate a lot of buzz, enough for them to compete with films," says Shahi.