Hungama TV is well on schedule for its September 26 launch. The introductory programming line-up comprises original content in the day-parts with repeats only in the graveyard hours that is the late night and wee morning hours. Backed by research insights and decisions taken by the channel’s kids’ board of directors, Hungama has steered away from any kind of educative slant in its content. The channel’s complete focus is only on entertainment.
Taking a closer look at the content, the weekday morning begins with ‘Chattar Pattar’ at 8.30 am to 1.00 pm band. Explaining more on this, Purnendu Bose, COO, Hungama TV, explains, “We have divided this slot with 8.30 to 10.00 am for preschoolers, that is four to seven years and 10.00 am to 1.00 pm is for the seven to 11 years.”
This band includes only animation content, all of which is presently outsourced. Where the channel has researched 70-odd animation shows, it will begin with 15 to 16 shows, where shows like ‘Johnson and three friends’ are in the slot. This is followed by the afternoon band (1.00 to 4.00 pm), which showcases live action. “This band is aimed at both the mother and the child,” shares Bose, “Some of the programmes here would be repeats from the evenings but it is largely dominated by original shows.”
All the shows in the afternoon are half-hour dailies. While some are episodic, others are continuation. The belt has shows like ‘Chuha Mantar’, ‘Dur Dur Durbin’, ‘Dam Dam’ and ‘Pavan’. Of these, the latter two are repeats from the evenings. This band is again divided with shows till 3.00 pm, followed by a movie, that goes on to 5.00 pm. The movies that the channel has planned to air are a mix of international titles like ‘Amy’, ‘Feast at Midnight’ and ‘Undercover Kids’ and Indian movies.
With this, the channel goes into the one-hour ‘Hulla Gulla’ band. The driver shows of the channel like ‘Gol Gol Gullam’ and ‘Full Toss’ are placed in this band. Deviating from the scheduling style of other programmes, here the channel has the band from Monday to Saturday, the first three days of which would air the game show ‘Gol…’, hosted by Omung Kumar and the latter has ‘Full Toss’.
Sharing more on these, Bose expresses, “We call this the virtual playground. The logic is simple. This is the time when children usually play and the programming aims at giving them the same feel.”
The content that the channel calls its USP is placed in 6.00–11.00-pm slot. Here as well the channel has divided the first three hours (6.00 pm to 9.00 pm), for shows and will air movies at 9.00 pm.
“This slot has all kinds of programming – fantasies, adventure, drama, science fiction – everything that would interest an Indian child,” states Bose. He explains that the slot houses weeklies, bi-weeklies and dailies. The other driver shows like ‘Noddy and Daddy’ and ‘Kaarthika’ amongst shows like ‘Lumba’, ‘Kaun Anari Kaun Khiladi’ and ‘Kaun Hero Kaun Zero’ are placed here.
While this is the weekday programming, the weekends have also been planned completely. Beginning again with animation from 8.30 to 10.00 am, the channel has live action programming for the rest of the day. Shows like ‘Aasman se Aaya Farishta’, ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge’, ‘Inky Binky Countdown’ and ‘Sheesha’ will air on both the days. At the same time, the channel also has shows like ‘Tiger’ and the television property of its ‘Captains Hunt’ initiative, which will be aired only on Sundays.
Bose shares, “Our entire FPC is based on the research and represent kids’ choice. We are looking at differentiated audience in every time band and so we have to give them something fresh and kicking at all times for them to stay and keep coming back.”
He explains that the channel has taken the scientific road to place the shows in their respective formats and slots, “We have spent a day in the child’s life and between the TG itself, with four-seven, eight-11 and 12-14, habits and preferences differ. We have taken all that into consideration while planning the present structure.”
As to why the concept of edutainment or infotainment was not included in the programming at all, he says, “Our research made it clear that children today don’t watch these things. Everything else for them today is about education. So this is the break they need.”
What would be interesting to watch out is the Hungama impact on other channels – from Cartoon Network to STAR Plus. Come October and we will find that out.