AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research, has shown that kids’ channels registered an increase in both viewership and in revenues in 2005 when compared to 2004, and the fact that genres like Hindi mass channels saw a decline in the period only makes the increase in kids’ channels a very positive sign. Another thing that it does is keep the channels on their toes to address the growing demands of Indian audience and a bout of that is seen in the summer fanfare lined up on kids’ channels.
Looking at the initiatives lined up, the Turner channels have concentrated on younger Turner POGO with a host of initiatives lined up. Concentrating on comedy, POGO christens the summer programming as ‘Funny Side Up’ on Prime POGO, which begins April 2, 2006. The line-up includes weekend ‘Chuppa Rustam’, new episodes of Takeshi’s Castle, Mr Bean, Just for Laughs Gags, and a slew of weekend movies along with an opportunity to win iPods and POGO goodies every week through the ‘Spot the Bug’ contest.
“POGO has always been at the forefront to ensure that kids have a good time, be it through exciting programming or innovative ground events. POGO Funny Side Up will give kids the much needed wind-down after a month of examinations. What better way to greet the summer vacations than with a treat of humorous shows and movies that are sure to appeal to kids and their parents alike,” said Anshuman Misra, managing director, Turner International India Pvt Ltd.
As for the elder Turner, who is also the leader in the genre, the summer content planned includes Toonami: Pokemon Transformer Energon: Cybertron and new series of exiting properties like Tom & Jerry tales, Justice League, Teen Titans, Jackie Chan and Half Ticket Express - Dragon Tales.
Disney Channel is all geared with programming lined up through April, May and June 2006. Initiatives include the premiere of ‘Finding Nemo’ on June 25, 2006, Indian animation feature ‘Hanuman’ as a television series will be launched in May on as an eight episode series in the 9.00 am block on weekends.
This will accompanied with a 360 degree multimedia campaign around the show ‘That’s So Raven’ and fantasy saga ‘Hatim’ launches on April 15 at 6 pm, weekdays. The preschool content destination, Playhouse Disney, the preschoolers block on Disney Channel will launch the Mickey Mouse Club House on May 6 at 8.30 a.m. (weekends). Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto help tiny tots solve age-specific challenges utilizing basic skills, such as identifying shapes and counting numbers.
Nachiket Pantvaidya, Director-Programming and Production, said, “This summer we have an exciting line-up of content for kids. We believe in showcasing a mix of the best local kid’s content and the best international content from the Disney stable. Hits like Hanuman, Finding Nemo and That’s So Raven will draw older kids to Disney Channel.”
Hungama TV is launching a range of new animation shows, which will hit the television screens on April 10, 2006. The channel has already extended its existing ‘Pre-School band’ by launching ‘Dragon’, ‘FiFi & the Flower Tots’ last month. And now there will be an introduction of two new bands on the channel – the ‘Toon blast band’ and ‘Ha Ha Ha Hungama band’.
The Pre-school band, which runs from 10.00 am to noon will house ‘Fireman SAM’, for which the channel has gone on-ground. Tying up with Mumbai Fire Department, Hungama is conducting safety drill in schools with Fireman SAM as the mascot.
The Toon blast band will have animated shows like ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ and ‘Sonix X’. In addition Hungama TV will launch the anime (Japanese animation) version of one of the most successful Japanese merchandise ‘Amdriver’, which has incredible graphics and futuristic storyline of a fight of good versus evil. The Ha Ha Ha Hungama band is the comedy slot, which has new show ‘Kochikame’, at 2:30 pm Monday to Friday.
There will be another show launched in this band – ‘Peep and the Big Wide World’, a series featuring three birds – a chicken called Peep, a robin called Chirp and a duck called Quack and will be aired from Monday to Friday at 3 pm.
Commenting on these, Zarina Mehta, COO, Hungama TV, said, “We at Hungama TV have always managed to get the best of content for our audience. We have taken initiatives ignoring some of the trends that kids channels see, whether it is a dip in programming in non-summer and the initiatives have paid off. Every once in a while when we notch up the number two position or are at a striking distance, it is a huge encouragement, considering we are up against some international players – truly being in a David situation.”
She informed that the channel had also lined up its share of movies in two Jackie Chan movies in April and other Hollywood titles. “Summer is a special season and we are expecting tremendous competition in the next few months – one reason why we are every excited.”
Nick has its own share of offering for kids. The channel has already launched Trollz and Gili Gili Gappa, which will be running throughout summer. On April 1, 2006 Drake & Josh, a live action comedy show about a pair of diametrically opposite step-brothers will be launched.
At present, the channel is planning four new shows in May, which include an animated show ‘Avatar’, ‘Peppa Pig’, a pre-school show about a family of pigs, another pre-school show, which is Spanish acquisition ‘Dougie in Disguise and Nick Dhoom’ – a double bill on weekends featuring an hour of top shows. Nick will also see Monday Marathons of shows like ‘Kenan & Kel’ and ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’.