National Geographic is planning to broadbase its viewership and extend it to kids.
In fact, the channel is planning to have a special time band for kids.
In an exclusive interview with agencyfaqs!, Dilshad Master, senior vice-president, content and communication, National Geographic, says that the channel is in the process of finalising shows and programmes for the kids band. Master says, "The programming would be a mix of both Indian and international shows, as the channel is in talks with some Indian production houses."
While rival Discovery already has a specific time band - Discovery Kids, National Geographic didn't have any exclusive programme for kids, except for a few programmes which were also of kids' interest.
National Geographic is excited about the response of kids to some of its new programmes. Last month, National Geographic had launched a programme called 'Innovations', which had invited participation from both kids (Young Innovator of the Year Award) and adults (Innovator of the year award). The number of child respondents has overwhelmed the channel. While 10,000 kids participated in the Young Innovator of the Year Award, only 6,000 adults had put in their entries for the Innovator of the Year Award.
In fact, children had shown a great amount of interest in the programme 'Mission Mars-I'. The channel will air the second part of this series 'Mission Mars-II' very soon. Master says, "NASA had shared the findings of their mission to Mars with National Geographic. The second part of the series will focus on these findings."
Apart from these, National Geographic will also be launching new shows on wildlife, the paranormal and witchcraft.
From November 1, National Geographic is launching a new series called FIR (Forensic Investigation Report). The programme will be aired between Monday and Friday at 10 pm.
In every episode, the series tries to investigate many unsolved mysteries such as the Secret of Einstien's brain, the 700 year-old murder mystery of Putna Lobos (in Peru), or the mystery of the frozen lake Roop Kund in Uttranchal. The Roop Kund episode has been produced by Miditech.
As many as 39 FIR episodes have been produced, and 26 more are in the making. Master says, "We will continue working on 26 more episodes after judging the response of the programme as the production cost for each episode ranges between $200,000- $300,000.
Talking about the viewership of this programme, Master says, "A typical viewer of National Geographic is mostly males, but with FIR, we hope to garner a larger share of female audience, as they have a keen interest in mysteries and thrillers."
When asked about the strategy behind scheduling the series as a daily instead of a weekly, Master says, "Weekly scheduling doesn't work with niche channels such as National Geographic as it lacks appointment viewing. The viewers also tend to forget to watch the programme. But in case of a daily show, viewers do log on to the channel to watch the programme."
But isn't this a matter of concern for the advertisers? Master says, "Advertisers come in niche channels on the basis of frequency of viewers, and not as per the reach."
To promote the FIR series, National Geographic is looking forward to web-based activities apart from print and television commercials on the STAR Network.
© 2004 agencyfaqs!First Published : November 01, 2004