Turner's one-year-old baby POGO is up and running; the channel seems to be driving viewership for the network in a big way.
The broadcaster saw a 21 per cent increase in kids' viewership between the first quarters of 2004 and 2005, primarily on the back of POGO, which was launched as a general entertainment channel in January '04.
"Two-thirds of the increase in viewership came from POGO, which is incredible," says Anshuman Misra, managing director, Turner International India. "The channel has been growing rapidly, even faster than Cartoon Network, which we started from scratch more than 9 years ago."
POGO is currently available at 17 million homes, as opposed to Cartoon Network's 22 million. This statistics alone goes on to show just how quickly POGO is growing.
Slick packaging, more localised content, coupled with a healthy mix of international shows are the hallmark of the channel, which, Misra assures, will continue to drive its programming.
The broadcaster along with Indian production houses Miditech and Optimystix will launch two new shows 'M.A.D' (Music, Art and Dance) and 'BAM! BAM! BAM! Gir Pade Hum' by April-end and June respectively, which will be the first locally produced programmes to feature on the channel.
So far, the channel's localisation effort has been restricted to the Prime POGO band between 5-7 pm, where Indian anchors Niall Sadh and Chinu Vaze entertain viewers. Its other big local property was the Amazing Kids' Choice Awards, which was held in December last year.
Big-ticket movies to premiere on the channel this summer include 'Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets' - the second such franchise to be acquired by Turner after 'Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone' last year. The first edition, which premiered in May last year, was the top-grosser for Turner, bringing in much-needed eyeballs and attention for POGO.
Channel executives hope to replicate the success achieved by the first Harry Potter movie in the current year as well by generating enough curiosity among viewers for the second edition. "Harry Potter is a character loved by all, and we should see a spike in viewership," adds Misra. © 2005 agencyfaqs!