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LOST – LOST IN GOVT LEVY

July 18, 2006


I found myself seated infront of the Tele y’day awaiting the much anticipated “LOST” on ART TV. Finally some one is showing the most popular (as everybody claims) TV Show in Sri Lanka. Counting out the Cable operators, (or operator now) as I am not financially equipped for such a luxury. Therefore have to rely on the local TV, and although people were complaining that there is nothing to watch, I must say the Local Scene was reaching a Hype, with Good Programs on all the Channels as opposed to only 1 channel. For eg: Monday night you’ll be caught switching between Alias on Channel 1 MTV and LOST on ART TV. And for those people who don’t fall asleep by 10pm, MTV has started showing re-runs of old movies, some weren’t upto the mark but some were. I even caught a few that I had missed when they came out.

At this moment of time, the Govt. decides to implement a stupid levy, I know many bloggers have commented on this, and I watched the Joint Task Force’s Live Press Conference, knowing that it’s gonna affect me pretty soon. I was relieved that they showed “Dr. House” the same day, but no movie. So I was crossing my fingers 9.30pm on ART TV.. CNN news.. 9.35pm on ART TV.. CNN news.. 9.40pm on ART TV CNN news.. LOST had LOST the battle!

Flipping the channel at 10pm to MTV, there were showing Alias, with a Scroller at the bottom saying “We have paid Rs. 150000 Levy, to bring this to you” or something close to that. So obviously ART TV, doesn’t find it financially viable to pay the Levy, understandable.

While I’m not gonna argue how hilarious the Levy is, coz I’m sure all of you know that, I’ll have to resort to the DVD’s of LOST, and many other programs (available almost in all the DVD Rental joints). I use to say thank god, only in Sri Lanka. Hmm….

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Pradheep permalink
    July 18, 2006 5:53 am

    Hi! Guess you have not understood what I said. I am a subscriber of CBNSat. I agree that they show some good international tv series on local tv. But I miss the Discovery/Nat Geo channels. The reality shows like Fear Factor. The sports like Formula 1, etc. When compared to when I had CBNSat there is nothing for me to watch since the only international stuff shown on local tv are mainly tv series and not much sports, reality and educational stuff.

  2. Voice_in_Colombo permalink
    July 18, 2006 6:09 am

    \\\\Flipping the channel at 10pm to MTV, there were showing Alias, with a Scroller at the bottom saying “We have paid Rs. 150000 Levy, to bring this to you” or something close to that. So obviously ART TV, doesn’t find it financially viable to pay the Levy, understandable.
    \\\

    Actually, ART TV didn’t telecasted LOST, last night not because they are not financially viable. But, with the Tsunami alerts going on CNN they wanted to continue with CNN through out the day. That’s what I thought, when I noticed they are not going to telecast LOST.

    The going average market rate of a 30 second TV commercial is about Rs. 60,000 on Sirasa TV. Lets assume its only Rs. 40,000 on ART TV. So, they have to take only 4 TV spots, to cover the cost!!!!!!

    So, don’t believe what these chanel owners say about the levy. (By scrollers). I agree, it’s a stupid tax. But, not a huge cost to the channel owners, as they trying to highlight.

    For example, the tax paid for one episode of “Maha Gedara” on Sirasa TV can be covered by just one TV commercial!!!

    Read this post on my blog.
    http://landlikenoother.blogspot.com/2006/07/dont-let-yet-another-mafia-to-rule.html

  3. indi permalink
    July 18, 2006 8:00 am

    Rs 150,000 is also enough money to employ five people. Selling ads is not easy and most media companies run on a very tight budget. The tax is patently unfair and an attack on free, private media

  4. Chaar~Max permalink
    July 18, 2006 8:23 am

    Well if they stopped LOST, coz there was a Tsunami alert, it’s cool! However they were showing, the situ in Lebanon rather than that.

    I dont have a prob, anyhow coz they are a News Channel, so that’s what they are supposed to show. I rem how mad I got once, when they interupted an Invterview with the Da Lai Lama, to show their routine “Ab King Pro” ads. he he.

    Re your argument and post about MTV having enough money, True! I gather thay have soo much money, earned up off Sirasa Super Star and all that, that they throw it away on “Ran Depaya”. Or thats another Gimmik to keep you hooked! What ever!

    But seriously, what ever happens, the lower middle class man gets AXED! If the private media decides to STOP all foreign telecasting, then the people who are able will switch to Cable. (I’m sure they’ll implement a higher tax scheme for that too)

    If they decide to cover it from sponsors, like you(vic) and sam suggest we end up paying for it. And that sucks! Boo hoo!

    I just have a few Questions? Are the Govt run, Rupavahini and ITN taxed? Coz I saw ITN showing “Been in USA”. And there is no talk about the Govt Media being taxed. I may be wrong, or I am just aloof!

  5. Voice_in_Colombo permalink
    July 18, 2006 12:00 pm

    Govt media too being taxed. But, unlike private firms they are not “pushed” to pay the tax on time. If you look at the unpaid bills of government organizations, to other govt organizations you’ll realize!! 🙂

    And as a reply to Indi’s comment,….

    Then the government will have to lift all the taxes on private firms (including 300% duty on imported vehicles) so that they could employee more people!

    —Selling ads is not easy —-
    I worked for a well known private company for 2 years since 2002 to 2004, as an assistant brand manager. With that experience, I could say SELLING ADS IS VERY EASY!.

    There are advertisers killing each other to take the best spot on 8.00 to 10.00 pm belt on Sirasa. I personally had to “bribe” some guys in advertising firms, to take a good spot during peak belt. We, as brand managers watch all these boring Indian opera’s just to make sure, ourselves whether our ads are appearing on the right spot. It’s a gold mine for TV channels!

    Well, as usual in all other posts about this subject, i come to my point now! Don’t fall into the trap of TV chanel owners. They are using us! To save few bucks for themselves.

    About the press conference held by TV chanel owners….
    It’s nothing different from those bus conductors striking, to remove a hardline police officer who refused bribes!

  6. Chaar~Max permalink
    July 19, 2006 3:47 am

    Well all in all… and some fairness, I have to say, it’s wrong to TAX, soo freaking much. Whether it eats into a TV Channels profits or runs them out of Business.

    So far, I have a liking to these Channels coz they’ve treated me well. As mentioned above they have weathered many storms for me, coz I dont have Cable.

    And we’re totally forgetting the operating costs here. TV Channels do have them, and they have budget and stuff like that. People like the Maharaja might be actually covering there costs, even after they pay the Levy, but other Channels like ART and ETV, have nothing else to sell except English Drama’s and Movies. It’s not viable to advertise on CNN and Channel News Asia, although some of CNN’s specials are sponsored.

    Since the Tamil poeple arent affected by this, as there are special exceptions for pure Tamil Progams being imported, what about the Burgher people in this counrty? Aren’t they being discriminated?

    All in all where is all this money going to? Rebuild the film industry.. CRAP!! It’s going to fill the treasury, that is empty, emptied by freaking politico’s buying them selves luxury bullet-proof vehicles and what not!

    It all boils down to who gets taxed? Us! You and me! We get taxed for using our CC, for the petrol we pump in our vehicles, and now for watching freaking TV!

  7. Dimithri Perera permalink
    July 20, 2006 2:52 pm

    If they stop showing MY stuff on ETV im going to get violent…what happens to Veronica Mars and One Tree Hill and the rest? whats wrong with this country men?!?! *sigh* BURN!!! 😦 but seriously…does this mean im going to be stuck watching stupid stuff made by our equally pathetic film industry?!?!

    GOD HELP US!

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