An additional demand of Rs 12.3 lakh (Rs 1.23 million) per shift to the 35,000 workers of the Mumbai-based television industry or Rs 35.50 per worker (per shift) has put the weekly advertising revenue of Rs 35-40 crore (Rs 350-400 million) generated by the 11-odd general entertainment channels under pressure, as the imbroglio between the broadcasters and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees continues.
According to the claims made by FWICE, if the pay is raised, its 35,000 members will resume work immediately. Of course, there are several other related demands such as a timebound payment of the shift wage, restricting shifts to 8 hours rather than the current 10-12 hours among others, says a senior FWICE executive.
The strike, that has been in effect from November 9 in Mumbai, has stopped the shooting and editing work of about 60 shows and serials of a dozen entertainment channels, forcing them to re-run old shows.
Re-runs of such shows have now resulted in a drop of upto 55 per cent in their prime time viewership ratings, a key parameter for advertisers when they decide to buy ad spots. According to online rating agency aMap, the first four days of the current week has seen Star Plus, Zee TV, Colors and NDTV Imagine lose the maximum viewership rating.According to FWICE, each worker representing crafts such as lighting, camera handling and spot help among others gets Rs 470 per 8-hour shift.