400 Not Out: Feels like Brian Lara

10 Mar,2023



From the Editor: When we invited Shailesh Kapoor to write for MxMIndia in 2012, a year after we started, we didn’t know how important a position his column would have in Indian broadcast. Our reason for inviting Shailesh to write was simple: the super-large broadcast sector depends on content as its primary fuel, and there is need to track trends and comment on what’s working. And what’s not. And Shailesh, thanks to the splendid work Ormax Media was doing (then and now) was in the best position to write for us.


Even as we say it ourselves, what makes MxM stand out from amongst the rest is our commentary on content. That we know is fraught with a lot of dangers, especially when it comes to revenues. But our allegiance is not to our advertiser or shareholders, but to you, dear reader. Meanwhile, join me in congratulating Shailesh Kapoor.


By Shailesh Kapoor


Shailesh KapoorFrom August 9, 2012, when I first wrote the first column for this website, it’s been more than 11 years. This is my 400th column here, no less. Don’t blame me for feeling like Brian Lara today!


It offers me just the perfect excuse to share some of my favourite columns from the past. I rarely read my columns after mailing them out. But there are some that one remembers for many years, for either the satisfaction of writing, or for the feedback that came one’s way. Be warned: some of the older ones may have wobbly special characters.


I have written more than a few times about TV ratings, but the absurdity of 5am ratings at that time prompted me to write this piece back in 2013.


A column from May 2013, titled Five Tips for Young TV Executives, is a personal favorite, because it got shared widely in many media companies at that time, and continues to somehow stay relevant, with occasional messages from people who read it almost a decade after it was published!


News has been my go-to topic in weeks when I have struggled to decide what to write on. The column titled Are we a Noise-loving Nation? looks at news (as also television) in a larger socio-cultural context. Just the headline itself seems ever-so-relevant in 2023.


There have been a few columns on Kapil Sharma, as the 11 years of this column was also the period of him going through the beats of fame and success. Sharma keeps going at it now, like an old warhorse. His film Zwigato releases next week. Of all the Kapil Sharma columns, I enjoyed writing these two the most: Kapil Sharma and the Loss of Innocence in 2016, and Kapil Sharma: Definitely Not Done Yet in 2022.


The 2017 column titled Panic Times for Hindi GECs? has a special place in my list. It’s one of the several (50+, I’d say) columns on the state of general entertainment television in India. But this one, in particular, got great traction, and led to extended conversations with several channels. I have rarely looked at writing here as a way of furthering Ormax Media’s business interests, but if I had to pick one column that managed that, it is this one.


Sports, particularly cricket, has been a regular feature on this column. I have been a keen supporter of women’s cricket, and have written a few times on it, including this column titled Stars in the Making. To watch Women’s IPL become a real thing in 2023 is immensely satisfying.


TRAI’s meddling with private television’s affairs, via the New Tariff Order (among other things), and the damage it has done, will be a dark chapter in Indian television’s history. The saga continues even as I write this 400th edition. This column from last year, titled Genre by Genre… Tumbling of the Telly, paints a grim picture of what the future of television may look like, in the current circumstances.


The column started covering theatrical and streaming content a lot more frequently in the last 3-4 years. These recent columns on Pathaan and Farzi were fun to write.


400 done, it’s time to chase the 500-mark now!


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