Bollywood re-enters Russian homes via cable TV
Moscow, Sept. 27 (PTI): After remaining out of the silver screens for years, the Bollywood has now re-entered into the Russian homes since the launch of India TV channel.
The paid cable TV channel, devoted to Bollywood, has seen its viewership surge dramatically since its launch last year by the Red Media group, Russia's largest producer of theme channels, and it now broadcasts 24 hours a day.
"Its audience is currently estimated at 5.5 million viewers, but has the potential to grow tenfold to 50 million," India TV channel's editor-in-chief Yuri Podstolnikov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.
According to Podstolnikov the only factor holding back the growth is that so far only 15 per cent of the country's households have the equipment to receive cable television.
The channel is especially popular with the older generation, which is still nostalgic about Bollywood in the Hindi-Roosi Bhai-Bhai days.
During Soviet era, Bollywood movies like Awara, Bobby, Disco Dancer and Sita aur Gita would draw 40 to 63 million viewers to cinemas across the nation.
A public opinion survey conducted by the GFK Rus group showed that the bulk of the India TV channel's audience is made up of women in 16-54 age group (78 per cent of the total viewership), who belong to the middle class and live in cities of 100,000 to 1 million.
More than 900 Indian films have been released in Russia in dubbed VHS-and DVD-format versions since films starring dynasty actor Raj Kapoor hit the screen in this country about half a century ago.