Zee launches ZeeQ, an edutainment channel for children

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | October 16, 2012
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The 24-hour channel targeted at children in the age group of 4-14 years will go on air on November 5.

Continuing to foster growth in its 20th year, Zee has announced the launch of yet another channel, one for children promoting learning along with entertainment. Calling it 'India's first edutainment channel' and christened ZeeQ, the channel is targeted at children in the age group of 4-14 years. ZeeQ, the 32nd channel in Zee's portfolio, is a 24-hour channel that will go on air on November 5 and will be available across direct-to-home and digital cable platforms as a paid-for channel.

From left: Punit Goenka, Subhdarshi Tripathi and Navneet Anhal

Announcing the launch at an event in Mumbai, Punit Goenka, managing director and chief executive officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, said, "Usually, people stop learning at a certain age. The shaping of a child though starts early. And therefore, partnering with Zee Learn (Zee's education company), ZeeQ has been launched. There are many channels for kids but none that focus on education and learning. ZeeQ is also an effort towards children learning in a safe environment."

"Zee as a group stands by its principle of improvement of human capital and so is the initiative, ZeeQ. It is a step ahead in fostering the curiosity amongst children through fun and entertainment," added Goenka.

While ZeeQ's broadcast operations will be managed by Zee, Zee Learn will look after the content and channel management.

Goenka also spoke of the how Zee Learn's backing will be of much help and added that the company's 18 years of interaction with as many as 3,00,000 students, parents and teachers across India has helped to make ZeeQ's edutainment content engaging and relevant to the needs of the Indian children.

Navneet Anhal, chief operating officer, Zee Learn, says, "ZeeQ is based on our core operating principle of 'What is right for the child'. We are confident that the channel will benefit school-going children and help their parents and teachers in the collective effort to facilitate emotional, social, academic and behavioural development of the children."

ZeeQ will have a mix of acquired and home produced content. Daily, the channel will air close to three and a half hours and one hour of acquired and home produced content, respectively. Going forward, the plans are to maintain an equal balance of both.

"The programming and scheduling approach of ZeeQ's content is geared to help children with subliminal education while keeping them engaged in never-before edutainment fashion,"

says Subhadarshi Tripathi, business head, ZeeQ.

Among the home produced shows are Teenovation, a show in association with The National Innovation Foundation, about child innovators who display brilliance and create utility terms for problems around them; Wordmatch, a national level game show to enhance children's knowledge of English spelling, word usage, sentence construction and vocabulary; and Brain Cafe, a show on science theories, concepts and their applications with a fun twist.

The acquired programmes that have been adapted to the taste of Indian children have been carefully picked from the many available across the world and most are internationally awarded shows. Zee owns the rights for them for the next five years.

ZeeQ will also be supported with a comprehensive online portal that will not just be a streaming website, assures Tripathi. The content on the portal will be as extensive addressing parents, teachers and children. Besides other features, live assistance from academicians will also be provided on the portal.

To market the new channel, Zee will bank on its large media network and also Zee Learn's chain of schools and pre-schools, wherein the idea of 'learning by doing' will be pushed. For the creative mandate of ZeeQ, the group has brought on board Leo Burnett India as its partner after evaluating other agencies in a multi-agency pitch that was called a few months ago.

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