Launched in India on January 1 this year, POGO, the television channel for kids distributed by Zee Turner Pvt. Ltd, has decided to lend an Indian flavour to its programming. Beginning August 6, the channel will beam a Hinglish show every Friday and Saturday between 5 pm and 7:30 pm on Prime Pogo, hosted by new faces Niall Sadh and Nisha Lalvani. A curtain raiser of Prime Pogo will be broadcast on May 28, when POGO will offer its viewers a sneak-peek into its localised programming.
The new zone will have online contests, phone-in competitions, viewer letters, celebrity guests and special reports on amazing kids from all over the country.
A company release stated that “in a fast-paced, high-energy environment peppered with smart facts and rib-tickling comedy, Nisha and Niall will guide you through a selection of our best shows ranging from ‘Round the Twist’ and the ‘Sleepover Club’ to ‘Mr Bean’ and ‘Walking with Beasts.”
The channel plans to ramp up its language options by aiming to make available 80 per cent of its programming in Hindi by end of the year. Currently, POGO has two hours of Telugu. The channel is also looking to introduce programmes in Tamil in the near future.
Addressing a press meet in New Delhi, Ian Diamond, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, said, the channel is partnering a number of Indian production houses to launch original content. “Tenders have been received for this,” informed Anshuman Misra, Managing Director—South Asia, Turner International India Pvt. Ltd.
The channel also announced today that it will premiere the highly successful ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ on May 28 at 7:30 pm.
Mishra said the innovative packaging has ensured that POGO occupy the second slot in kids TV segment, behind Cartooon Network.
He added that the content on POGO has been selected with great care after consulting a cross-section of experts including psychologists. “The content we show is a find blend of information and entertainment, apt for pre-schoolers even,” he said.
Diamond informed that the Potter film will be preceded by a contest, the winner of which will get tickets for two to London.
Mishra said five half-hour locally produced shows are in the making. “POGO will be a hot place for kids to hang out,” Diamond said.
POGO and Cartoon Network are reportedly commanding a lion’s share of the estimated Rs 100-crore revenues earned by kids TV channels in the country.