After the ZEE Network banned Yashraj Films during ‘Fanaa’, it is now the turn of T-Series, Bollywood’s leading music company, to boycot the ETC and ZEE Network until the issue is resolved.
ETC had issued an advert claiming that T-Series owed them legitimate dues of over Rs.7 crores and had decided to stop telecasting the audio label’s promos and trailers.
The audio company, which controls a majority of the Bollywood music market, has decided to retaliate to the advert and withdraw any or all advertising and freeplay content with effect from 1st July on ETC and ZEE. T-Series has said that it has no outstanding dues payable to ETC Networks Ltd. and that the ZEE Group has infringed copyrights against the Intellectual Property Rights of the entire film industry including T-Series.
Till a compromise is not reached, this is bound to have a very serious effect on the viewership of the ZEE Network, especially ZEE Music. It is common knowledge that T-Series holds the audio rights of the biggest releases of 2006 including ‘Babul’, ‘Salaam-e Ishq’, ‘Jaaneman’ and the biggest one of them all – the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Don’.
This means that ZEE Music will not be allowed to airplay any new tent-pole film music content, automatically giving its rival, B4U Music, a distinct edge to bagging exclusives.
Today’s announcement also means that ZEE Network will not be allowed to play any past T-Series material.
Several years back, ZEE and Time Audio (now defunct) had a scrap, because of which the soundtrack of the hit film ‘Rangeela’ and other Time Audio titles were not airplayed on ZEE for some time. The issue was subsequently resolved.
What remains to be seen is whether other audio labels, mainly Sony Music, will follow suit, and most importantly, how distributors like UTV and Adlabs will react in terms of their advertising preferences.
More to follow.