World Television Day: What makes ‘idiot box’ so loved

A few of the small screen’s most popular names share why the medium has managed to hold its own against cinema and OTTs
By Sanchita Kalra | Hindustan Times, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON NOV 21, 2020 05:08 PM IST
As we celebrate World Television Day today, we catch up with stars from the small screen who tell us what still makes the medium the most preferred one

With plenty of movies and shows to binge-watch on OTT platforms, one may question the relevance of television now. But as we celebrate World Television Day today, we catch up with stars from the small screen who tell us what still makes the medium the most preferred one. While some believe it helps to entertain and educate the masses on a large scale, has filtered content and brings Indian households together, others say that the medium shouldn’t be looked down upon, but needs to keep up with new, relatable subjects and issues. Here’s what they have to say:

Massy content, bigger reach: Actor Urvashi Dholakia

I have been a part of the television industry for over three decades now, and the loyalty people have towards this medium is amazing! While it has an emotional connect with people, due to its massy content, the bigger advantage is the fact that television is available to not only people in big cities, but also to those in the tier-2, tier-3 cities who don’t have access to OTT devices. Hence television has, over the years, made a very strong impact content wise, and reach and viewership wise as well.

Brings families closer: Actor Shantanu Maheshwari

The longevity of a television show is much more higher compared to other platforms and that is why relatibility and attachment to shows and their characters are at a larger scale. Television is a medium that gets the family together to not only sit and watch mainsteam TV shows but other channels featuring sports and even the news as well. Overall television is a medium which by default binds the family together in a way where watching all this kind of content gets everyone together, which is the best part about the platform.

Filtered content, controlled language: Actor Aamir Ali

I feel every medium has its own approach and understanding, and the message that comes with it to be conveyed. But I feel TV caters to more people in a population of 1.3 billion. The content on television is still controlled when it comes to language. It’s a medium where you can watch shows with the family. And the best part is that apart from metropolitan cities, it is also valued more in other cities as well.

It should not be looked down upon: Actor Debina Bonnerjee

In the Indian market, a large part of the population still lives in rural areas, and people are still not very aware of OTT platforms. One needs to buy premium membership to be able to watch the content and it can be quite complicated if you’re not a tech-savvy person. Therefore, I feel TV is handy. It is more relevant now keeping in mind the messages that are related to homes, relationships and day-to-day dramas that a family would enjoy to watch. It should not be looked down upon. Needs to be treated with respect.

It [content] needs to be relatable, fun and current: Actor Karanvir Bohra

The lockdown gave a tremendous rise to OTT platforms and TV took a backseat. But television is a free medium. It has become a go-to. It’s instilled in our brains and minds that you just have to pick up the remote. It only needs to up its game. It needs to make more meaningful content. It needs to be relatable, fun and current. The medium needs to move ahead, and if not, at least together, along with the changing times.

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