afaqs!

Diamond Comics to launch a television channel

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media | May 18, 2009
The kids' channel plans to bring alive 80 of its characters through animation and serials

Popular characters such as Chacha Choudhary, Sabu, Pinki and others of Diamond Comics have entertained generations through several decades. Soon, fans of Diamond Comics will have a reason to rejoice as the publication house has decided to take this association to a different level.

The comics giant is all set to launch a kids' channel by the end of this year. The channel will be called Diamond Comics Channel and the target group will be pre-teens and teens. All the content on the channel will be in Hindi and regional languages such as Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Gujarati.

Kids can look forward to Chacha Chowdhary and other popular characters of Diamond Comics to make a debut on television with the new channel. The programming will be based on 80 top selling characters of Diamond Comics, either in animation or through shows. Out of the 80 characters, about 20 characters will be used for animation, while the remaining 60 will feature in the TV shows. The serials will be based on Indian culture, heritage and folk tales.

& #BANNER1 & #

Talking to afaqs! about the channel, Gulshan Rai, managing director, Diamond Comics, says, "For the past few decades, we have been doing good in the country and therefore we felt that the time was right for us to come up with a channel. Diamond Comics Channel will be a truly Indian kids' channel, with Indian content. There will be absolutely no licensing or borrowing of foreign cartoon characters."

Rai shares that the channel is the result of a joint venture according to which Diamond Comics will supply brand, characters and content, whereas the other aspects such as marketing, distribution and monetary funds will be invested by another company. Rai refused to share the name of the other party as the JV is yet to be finalised.

The channel will see an initial investment of Rs 300 crore. A production group will work on creating content for the channel. Rai assures that the quality of the content will not be compromised at any level and will be at par with international standards. "Quality is not a problem in our country anymore. You just need to approach the right people. Quality of the characters or the content will not be compromised anywhere."

The group had announced the decision to launch the kids channel in 2008 - so what took the group so long to finally workout the details? "We have been mulling over the thought for sometime now, but were waiting for the right opportunity and the right people to work with. We wanted people whose creation (cartoon characters) was at par with the international standards."

To differentiate the channel, the entire programming will be based only on Indian regional content. Rai believes that though there are many kid's channels in the country, all of them have a large dose of foreign characters and none of them focus on the Indian aspect.

"As far as cartoons are concerned, India has a lot to offer, which no one has tapped till now. We want to tell the tales differently. We won't tell the usual Mahabharata or Ramayana but will instead pick some folk stories from these," he informs.

The channel has decided to keep away from any violent or horror programming. Instead, the focus will be on action and fantasy, which will be in abundance.