Hungama TV revamps programmes to strengthen its position

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | August 26, 2008
Though Hungama TV has been ruling the kids' segment for a long time, it is now repackaging its programmes and introducing new shows

Hungama & #BANNER1 & # TV has been reigning supreme in the kids' channel space for a long time. According to TAM data for C&S, 4-14 years, HSM, Hungama TV has been the No. 1 channel in the kids' space for more than eight weeks, with an average share of 27.8 per cent, calculated from Weeks 26-33. Cartoon Network comes in second with 22.7 per cent. Nick has 19.2 per cent share, followed by Pogo, which commands a share of 17.9 per cent. Disney commands only 8 per cent share.

Hungama TV has been positioned as a channel for four-14 year olds belonging to SEC A, B and C, with humour as its key proposition. Speaking to afaqs!, Aparna Bhosle, director, programming and production, Walt Disney Television International, says, "Humour is what appeals to kids."

Hungama TV features both live action and animation. The channel does not have original productions and a lot of its content is Japanese. "In many ways, the Japanese culture is very similar to ours, so Japanese content works very well in appealing to Indian kids," says Bhosle. The channel did try its luck with original productions with a live action show called Zoran, but it did not do too well.

Bhosle says, "The return on investments with the Japanese content is great, but not so with the original productions. So, we spend on the overall packaging of the channel, rather than on producing original series." The channel constantly changes its packaging and introduces interstitial content such as music videos, spoofs and short videos around characters to engage its young viewers.

Hungama TV is all set to introduce new series such as Ninjaboy Rantaro and Hippo and Thomas in September. It will also introduce a live action thriller series, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which will be aired in the 8.30pm slot.

"This time band is not very popular with kids and, with this show, we hope to strengthen it and appeal to a broader audience," says Bhosle. Fresh versions of popular shows such as Kiteretsu, Kochikame and Doraemon are also being planned.

Hungama TV was launched in September 2004 as a 24 hour kids' entertainment channel and was the only local channel then. The channel, which belonged to UTV, was bought over by Walt Disney in December 2007 for around Rs 137.25 crore.

There haven't been any new channel launches in the kids' space in a long time, barring Chutti TV from the Sun TV Network. Reliance Entertainment is expected to roll out its kids' entertainment offering soon.