Pritha Mitra

Hungama TV to focus on animation now

Channel executives say that in the past one year, they have learnt that animation continues to be the favourite with kids

Kids’ channel Hungama TV will focus more on animation shows from now. The channel has just completed a year, and it’s the animation shows that are delivering it high TVR numbers.

One of the most popular shows on Hungama TV is ‘Doraemon’. As per TAM Media Research, in the last four weeks, the show topped the list of its most popular programmes with a TVR of 1.03 (C&S, 4-14, Hindi Speaking Markets).

This is contrary to the scenario when Hungama TV was launched. In the first four weeks of its launch (September 26, 2004 – October 23, 2004), the top ten shows on the channel were all live action shows, be it ‘Door Door Doorbeen’, ‘Shisha Kahani Ek Raaz Ki’ or ‘Kabhi Hero Kabhi Zero’. In fact, at the time of the launch, the channel’s focus was on live action shows, which it thought would differentiate it from the market leader, Cartoon Network, which offers only animation shows.

Zarina Mehta, programming head, Hungama TV, says, “At the time of the launch, we wanted to try out both live action and animation shows. This is why, initially, 50 per cent of our programming was animation and 50 per cent, live action.”

“However, in the last 12 months, we have learnt that animation shows are popular. The programming mix on Hungama TV will now be 70 per cent animation and 30 per cent live action.”

By November, the channel plans to launch three new animation shows, ‘YuYu Gi Oh’, ‘Sam and Sam’ and ‘JJ the Jet Plane’. All these shows have been picked up from the international library.

Even media planners seem to be positive about this shift in programming strategy on Hungama TV.

Shashi Sinha, president, Lodestar Media, says, “Animation is the latest trend in the kids’ genre and it works wonders, especially among younger kids. So, this could be a strategic move for the channel.”

Kajal Malik, regional director, Optimum Media Solutions, agrees. She says, “Kids in the age group of 6-12 years are the core viewers for a kids’ channel. And this segment of viewers likes animation more than live action shows.”

When asked about the overall performance of Hungama TV vis-à-vis other kids’ channels, Malik of OMS says, “Hungama has been an average performer. And it has also been constantly experimenting with its programming. However, the channel needs to strengthen its distribution and plan an aggressive promotional strategy.”

Punitha Arumugam, group CEO, Madison, says, “Considering the fact that Hungama TV has been around for just a year, the performance of the channel is quite remarkable.”

She adds, “General entertainment channels have been losing viewership share for quite some time now. It is the special interest channels that are expected to grow.”

Talking about the lessons learnt in the last one year, Mehta of Hungama says, “Today’s kids are far more aware of their surroundings. They do not watch television for entertainment, but for information and knowledge. And we hope to fulfil the needs of these kids through interactive shows.”

For instance, Hungama TV now plans to launch an interactive show on mobile gaming. As Mehta says, “The connection between the kids and the channel will now be more, even when they are not watching the channel.”

© 2005 agencyfaqs!