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`Entertainment sector set for big growth'

Our Bureau

Mumbai , March 14

THE Indian entertainment industry, which is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent from Rs 19,200 crore in 2003 to 42,300 crore in 2008, could gain from improved distribution, better use of technology, consolidation, rationalisaton of entertainment tax and a progressive policy, according to a FICCI-Ernst & Young report.

The industry, according to the report, has outperformed the economy in 2003 by growing 15 per cent to Rs 19,200 crore.

"The steps taken towards addressability in a highly fragmented cable television market, introduction of direct-to-home (DTH) services, the multiplex boom, experimentation with digital cinema to expedite film exhibition in semi-urban and rural markets and FM radio will spur growth in the sector.''

The report provides an overview about various segments - films, television, music, radio and live entertainment. The findings are a result of inputs from leading industry players and an online survey of over 400 respondents.

The report has recommended rationalisation of entertainment tax, extension of concessions offered to multiplexes, a common ticketing platform for film tickets and a relook at the current licence fee regime for FM radio players.

The report has urged the Government to empower a Central body that would issue licences to cable operators, based on certain mandatory information such as entertainment duty registration, service tax and income tax registration and details of subscriber base.

The film industry is expected to grow at 18 per cent to Rs 10,100 crore by 2008 from Rs 4,500 crore in 2003. The key growth drivers in this segment are increase in multiplexes, advent of digital technology and corporatisation.

The report stated that piracy was taking away 60 per cent of the film industry's revenues.

The television industry is expected to grow at 17 per cent to Rs 28,852 crore by 2008 and a significant portion of this growth is expected from the subscription stream. A strong cable distribution system is the most important driver for growth.

As for the music industry, 40 per cent of Rs 1,040-crore revenues in 2003 was supposedly taken away by piracy. However, the industry is expected to grow to Rs 1,217 crore by 2008.

It also said that FM radio has potential for growth but will depend on the license structure and the legislative framework that is created for the industry.

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`Entertainment sector set for big growth'

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