Hungama TV, one of the new names that entered the kids' space last year, has introduced a series of change in its programming. While reducing the number of its production house partners from 12 to four, it has also cut down its live action programming. The channel has reworked some of the present shows and has started a Hindi movie band. According to the channel, these changes are a result of the feedback it derived from the younger audience.
Let's begin with TAM Media Research numbers to get a feel of the channel's performance. In the nineteenth weeks of its existence, Hungama TV has shown growth. For the target C&S 4+ in the Hindi speaking markets, the channel has narrowed the gap with No.2 POGO in the recent weeks. Whereas in week 7, it dropped to a channel share of 0.7, in weeks 5 and 6, Hungama managed a 1.28 and 1.06 channel share vis-à-vis POGO's 1.52 and 1.17.
The channel has made a few drastic changes in its programming. At the time of the channel's launch, Hungama officials divulged that as many as 20 shows would be on-air. The channel is presently left with nine shows. Production houses Balaji, Contiloe and Creative Eye have a show each on the channel, while the remaining are UTV's.
Speaking on the reasons behind these changes, Purnendu Bose, COO, Hungama TV, said, "As you know we have a Kids Board of Director, which help us in content decisions. These changes are based on their feedback. The shows, which according to them and the ratings, weren't working are taken off-air. Our Captains have expressed that they want to see icons, characters that they would look up to. We have changed the content of our shows to suit this, where the age group 10-14 is really seen in the lead."
Another learning that came from the board was that even though the channel officials didn't deem it fit to play genres like horror on the channel, the kids have expressed that they would like to see such shows. As a result the channel has introduced a new show Bhoot.com, which is also from UTV. "The other feedback was that the kids want to watch movies on weekends when the entire family is viewing the channel. So we brought in the 'Full Filmi Funda band'."
The channel has brought in as many as 30 movies from STAR and it will air these on this band on the weekends at 5.00 pm. In the live action band, the channel has only from 6.00 to 8.00 pm on Mondays to Thursdays and then on its weekends. "A few trends we observed was that evening was the kids' primetime. These are children who are shuttling between school and tuition. It hence, made sense to give them the programming they like at the time bands they like," said Bose.
The kids' genre has indeed seen as an explosion and what the media is looking out for is whether this explosion means only an increase in the number of players or a growth of the genre per se. Bose continues to believe that there is indeed space for eight players in the genre. Fact or Fiction - perhaps the next few weeks would remove the cobwebs.