Television day 21 november debate

Can television survive OTT challenge?

There was a time when the telecast happened twice a day,
in the mornings and evenings

The invention of television was not the work of a single mind with names like Philo Farnsworth, Charles Francis Jenkins, John Logie Baird, and Kenjiro Takayanagi associated with it. It became a popular mode of communication after Second World War.

History of Indian Television (actually) dates back to the early 1980s with the only channel Doordarshan. DD – as it was known, produced memorable shows like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Chandrakanta, and Malgudi Days among others.

With the emergence of private channels in the 90s, the television industry flourished in India. Initially, these channels produced fairly decent programmes, but the recent decade has witnessed a slow degradation of the content produced on Indian television. Chudails, nagins, and dayans are the popular characters and over-dramatic unrealistic scenes are the new norm. News channels are not helping the television industry either with their loud graphics and over-enthusiastic reporters.

Now, we see online streaming networks popularly known as Over The Top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, among others. These platforms are much more convenient as one can access the content anywhere and anytime. They deliver content that is relevant to the needs of all generations.

The consumption of OTT platforms increased significantly during the pandemic. The availability of international shows on these platforms, makes them much more appealing to audiences.

However, OTT platforms replacing television completely seems like an unlikely proposition. A majority of the population still does not have access to proper internet facilities and the paid subscription of these networks can be afforded only by a privileged few.

21st November is World Television Day. This day is a reminder of all the memories connected to the television. There are slight chances that our coming generations will understand the nostalgia associated with television. The happiness we as 90s kids felt when after a long tiring day at school, we came back to our favourite shows on television or how the constant power struggle over a remote would often lead to fights that would end in compromises!

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