afaqs! news bureau

Discovery Kids tempts children with three India-centric series

Discovery Networks brings 10 series for the Indian kids, as it officially makes available its eighth channel, Discovery Kids. Of these, the three India-centric series will be Kim, Sally Bollywood and Howzzattt.

Discovery Networks has launched its first channel in the kids' genre in India. The eighth channel from the network, Discovery Kids aims to tap the 370 million kids' population in India, in the age group of 4-11 years. However, the core TG (target group) of the channel is children in the age group of 5-9 years.

The channel has been launched in three languages - Hindi, English and Tamil.

The content of the 24 hour-channel is a mix of animation and live action series covering genres such as adventure, mythology, nature, history and science. The channel has apparently invested a lot on high-quality animated content and expects to deliver better than the competitors, which host fiction-based content.

Discovery Kids tempts children with three India-centric series
Discovery Kids tempts children with three India-centric series
Rahul Johri, senior vice-president and general manager, South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, says, "There is a large portion of the kids market in India which goes untapped. The basic reason is the similarity of the content (all being fiction-based). We aim to break the clutter with equal amount of fun and learning. Kids like simpler programming. Flocking the channel with a large number of shows at the start may create chaos. Hence, we have kept the number limited to 10. The channel's packaging has an animated Bug, which plays the sutradhaar for the connecting shows."

Of the 10 shows, three have India-centric content in animated series; Kim (a Rudyard Kipling character who travels in 19th century India), Sally Bollywood (the story of a 12-year old girl who runs a detective agency inside the school and whose character is influenced by Bollywood) and Howzzattt (a cricket-based animated series that helps children learn about the game).

There are seven other shows including Adiboo Adventure (a puzzle-based show aimed at pre-schoolers), Papyrus (the story of a courageous boy from the ancient Egyptian civilisation), Bindi The Jungle Girl (wildlife series, through a tweenager girl), The Legend of Enyo, Wild Kratts (show with cool creatures from oceans and trees) and Wild Tales (series based on baby animals).

In the initial three months, the channel will focus on penetration, and later move to monetise its properties. Rajiv Bakshi, vice-president, marketing, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, says, "We are not looking at generating revenues from ads as of now. We want to first establish the channel and increase its visibility to the maximum. The channel is more about appointment viewing. We have also acquired a few kids' movies, which may be screened on a weekly basis. We had focus groups of our TG in the major cities of the country when we started our ground research for the channel a year ago."

For the record, Discovery Kids is already running in Latin America since 1996 and was later re-launched in the US. The channel was also launched recently in Indonesia and the Philippines. In India, it is currently available on Videocon DTH, Dish TV and cable channels.

Discovery Networks entered India in 1995 with Discovery channel. In 1998, the network launched Animal Planet. Since then, it has launched five more channels including TLC (launched as Travel and Living, later renamed), Discovery Turbo, Discovery Tamil, Discovery Science and Discovery HD World.

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