Thai soap operas boom during downturn

2009-09-07 10:03 BJT

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Thailand didn't escape the effects of the global economic downturn. And with more Thais opting to stay home instead of heading to the movies, the country's soap opera industry is getting an unexpected boost.

It takes talented actors to make this fight scene look natural and compelling.

The stars of this action-style Thai soap opera rehearsed for hours to make it appear flawless.

Across Thailand, millions of fans will tune in to watch the latest twist in what is one of the country's most popular shows, known as "Rook Kar" or "Brave Man Standing: Checkmate."

Soap operas are big business in Thailand - more than 50 are currently produced in the country.

The best-loved dramas are beamed into living rooms across the country every day before and after the evening news.

The Bangkok Broadcasting and Television Company produces dozens of soaps.

Story concepts and business decisions are made at its headquarters in Bangkok.

Some of its most successful soaps feature martial arts, love affairs and stories of everyday people defeating their enemies. The themes resonate with millions of Thais.

Surang Prempree, Managing Director, Bangkok Broadcasting & Television Co., said, "The current economic downturn is not having a negative effect on the production of Thai soap operas. We must actually increase our investment because people will be staying at home and watching soap operas more often. People don't have to pay additional money to watch soaps."

Although the plots and performances are often melodramatic and the effects sometimes unoriginal, the creators of Thai soaps created a model that keeps countless people tuned in night after night.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: