Even as Bollywood copes with its worst financial turmoil, with no film having been released for over two months, its award shows are raking in big moolah.
The International Indian Film Academy's (IIFA) awards function, one of the most expensive ones, is said to have made a cash profit of around Rs 8-10 crore even before it begins in Macau from June 11 to June 13. Macau is a special administrative region of China, known for its flourishing tourism industry, hotels and casinos.
According to industry sources, Bollywood awards shows -- like Filmfare, Stardust, Apsara, Screen, Zee Cine, among others -- together generate annual cash profits of around Rs 50 crore for the various event management firms who organise these annually. However, IIFA alone generates around 20 per cent of this overall revenue, sources said.
IIFA is held abroad every year in an internationally known city. So far, IIFA has been hosted in London, Dubai, Bangkok, Amsterdam, Singapore and Yorkshire, among other international locations. Around 200 celebrities from Bollywood attend this event every year. Film actor Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador for IIFA.
"IIFA itself is estimated to have a brand value of around Rs 100 crore," says Wizcraft Director Sabbas Joseph. In fact Wizcraft, the Mumbai-based Rs 300-crore specialised events management firm, is the brains behind the IIFA show, which is now in its 10th year. It costs around Rs 30-35 crore to organise it in the Asian region, while it costs around Rs 40-45 crore to host it in Europe.
"We run it like a business venture. We cover our costs in advance, partly from various media rights -- including telecast rights, internet rights, among others -- and partly from sponsors and sale of tickets," says Joseph.
For Wizcraft, IIFA -- along with three other Bollywood-based awards shows -- contribute nearly 40-45 per cent to its annual turnover. The telecast rights for IIFA in India lies with the STAR network and is valued at around Rs 80 crore for the eight-year period starting 2005.
While the revenue from media rights covers one-third of the IIFA's cost, sponsors and other commercial tie-ups, including sale of tickets for the three-day event, more than cover the cost of organising IIFA, says Joseph.
"Television rights have become important for these Bollywood-based awards functions as their telecasts tend to get high ratings. Plus, these awards have a repeat value too with advertisers always wanting to get associated. We tend to recover our costs within the first two telecasts of such shows," says a senior executive of a leading television channel requesting anonymity.