Whither dangdut mania? Financial woes of TV station TPI puts dangdut music under threat.
Having stayed up late last night to watch the tribute to Meggy Z on TPI, I am moved to comment on the merits of this seemingly doomed TV channel.
I recently had the pleasure of teaching a young lady who works for Global TV and was interested to learn from her that Global, TPI and RCTI are linked to each other within one commercial package. Each caters to a different audience, roughly categorised on social class, she said, and thus I was all the more astonished to read in the Jakarta Globe on 27/10 that TPI had been declared bankrupt.
A decision by the Central Jakarta Commercial Court to declare TPI bankrupt is cause for concern for both the television station’s employees and the country’s dangdut musicians, who receive strong support from the broadcaster. The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) said in a press release on Tuesday that the bankruptcy verdict on October 14th put TPI’s 1,083 employees in limbo.
It must have a huge audience.
Despite the silly cinetrons it shows, we watch it avidly because it offers dangdut in abundance. Other channels may not ignore Indonesia's most popular music, but they certainly don't give it a fair share.
TPI's 'KDI', the contest to find new dangdut stars, has been good, but frequently displayed far too much dimwit comment from alleged celebrity comperes, notably a fat woman with a big mouth who appeared determined to be as contemptuous of the feelings of the young contestants as that oik Simon Cowell does on the similar programmes in the West (I try to avoid seeing the latter buffoon, but stumble on the Idol shows by accident occasionally) - Fatso's sarky observations are overwhelmingly directed against the prettiest young lady singers, clearly motivated by jealousy, so we use her interventions as an excuse to refill the cups of kopi Jawa.
Past winner of KDI, lovely Vita
Aside from the non-singing participants, however, KDI offered a good variety of up-and-coming songsters. And the Meggie Z tribute was an excellent show, a well-deserved ode to a fine performer.
Now alas TPI is on the way out. and I'm saddened that its other partner stations have not been able to rally round and keep it afloat.
'Goyang Sampai Basah' on KDI
Nevertheless, according to the Globe report, "Dangdut Stars Sing the Blues Over Bankrupt TPI", there may be hope. TPI will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. And that lovely lady Iis Dahlia says she hopes for the best in the station’s Supreme Court appeal.
I hope TPI will not go bankrupt and that the jobs of its employees can be saved. It is such a shame because TPI has such a loyal audience.
We are not dependent on TPI, but we are sad because TPI has accommodated dangdut and taken part in promoting dangdut in Indonesia. I wish them all the best.
I don't pretend to understand the ins and outs of the business conflict that has brought TPI to its knees, but according to the Globe it arises from a company called Crown Capital Global Ltd, which claimed it was owed $53 million from a loan issued to the station in December 1996. The loan was due to be repaid by December 2006, but Crown took TPI to court after saying it had not received any payments.
Does anybody know any more?