Film, TV contributed $6 bn to economy

New Delhi The film and television industry contributed over $6.2 billion (Rs.28,305 crore) to the Indian economy and created nearly 1.8 million jobs in 2008-2009, a new report released here Friday said. The sector has a total output of $20.4 billion (Rs.92,645 crore), contributing more to the gross domestic product (GDP) of India than the advertising industry, the report titled "Economic Contribution of Indian Film and Television Industry" said. "This report demonstrates the importance of the film and television sector to the overall growth and vitality of the Indian economy. Indians should be proud of the staggering growth that the film and television industry has achieved," said Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Dan Glickman. Almost echoing him, Time Warner Senior Vice President Hugh Stephens said: "The film and television industry in India is one of the world's largest markets in terms of number of consumers and offers significant growth potential. Over the past few years the industry has experienced rapid double-digit growth and it is expected that this trend will continue in future, resulting in increasing contribution to the Indian economy." Prepared by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the report was commissioned by the Motion Picture Distributors Association (India), representing the Motion Picture Association in India. It was launched at the Asia Society Conference here. According to the report, the combined revenues of the Indian film and television industry were over $7.7 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) in the calendar year 2008. This is expected to grow at a rate of 11 percent over the next five years, reaching a size of over $13 billion (Rs 60,000 crore). The study measured the direct, indirect and induced economic impact created by the film and television industry, and combined them to determine its total economic contribution. Glickman also stressed the need to check piracy to protect the industry. "The menace of copyright theft jeopardises a movie's ability to make money - if at all. This affects the level of investment available for new films and the ability to create new jobs for workers throughout the country," he said. A study undertaken by the US-India Business Council and Ernst & Young showed that piracy cost the Indian film industry $959 million and some 571,000 jobs in 2008.