Sunday saw the dawn of a new era in Malayalam television with the launch of the first channel specially designed for kids in Malayalam. Sun TV Network launched Kochu TV, a 24-hour Malayalam channel exclusively for kids. Kochu TV follows the success of the three other kids’ channels from the Sun Network stable – Tamil channel Chutti TV launched in 2007, and Kannada channel Chintu TV and Telugu channel Kushi TV launched in 2009. The Sun Group, touted as one of India’s largest media conglomerates, has now reached a count of 21 TV channels with this launch. Kochu TV is the third Malayalam channel from the network that broadcasts Surya TV and Kiran TV. Regarding the launch, S J Clement, Vice President-Programming and Content Acquisition, Sun Network Kids Channels, remarked, “This project had been in the pipeline for the last 8-9 months. We got the go-ahead in January this year. The channel will be broadcast across cable TV networks and on Sun DTH. It will be telecast in Asia, Europe, the Gulf, and the US.
The focus of the channel is kids in the age group of 4-14 years with the programme mix specially designed for Malayalam speaking kids taking into view their unique needs and tastes. While the primary target group of the channel is children, it also aims to target children’s mothers. As per data sourced from the Census 2011 and IRS 2010 Q4, children in the under-12 age group comes to 54 lakh and in the age group of 12-15 years is 23.71 lakh, 19% of the total population in Kerala. “The channel offers great potential and plenty of avenues for advertisers. There has been a great response from the advertisers’ side asking for content profiles and other information. From the viewers’ side, the response has been overwhelming”, Clement elaborates.
Kochu TV has lined up a range of programmes that includes cartoons featuring popular heroes like Jackie Chan, He Man, Spiderman, game shows, Hollywood films, educational programmes, Kids’ News and other informative programmes. Popular international films and cartoons have been adapted in Malayalam and given a local flavour, rather than dubbed, for easy understanding.
Singu, a lion cub who is the mascot of the channel, will go around the state as part of the promotions. Clement adds, “We have heavily promoted the channel on our own TV channels – Surya TV and Kiran TV and on the 5 RED FM stations in Kerala. We have also advertised in regional dailies and periodicals. On-air promotions and contests will take off in 1-2 weeks’ time and on-ground activations will begin in another 3 weeks. We also have many other big promotion plans that will take shape gradually.”