Alokananda Chakraborty & Prajjal Saha

POGO appeal goes beyond children

Although at the time of its launch POGO had been categorized as a ‘kids channel’, it has since evolved as a multi-genre channel targeted at different age groups

It has been three months since Turner International's children's channel, POGO, was launched. And although at the time of its launch POGO had been categorized as a ‘kids channel', it has since evolved as a multi-genre channel with a variety of programmes targeted at different age groups. Remarks Ian Diamond, senior vice-president and general manager, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, "Our endeavour to promote family viewing has been successful, and within three months of the launch, POGO has been able to attract adults as well." He adds that channel's programming strategy "to offer a wealth of formidable programming, showcasing different genres including live action, animation, drama, movies and comedy."

While during the day, POGO has programmes such as Boo-Bah, Barney, Miffy & Friends, Franny's Feet and Tweenies specifically aimed at the kids, in the evening, it has programmes such as Beakman's World, and comedies and drama shows such as Around the Twist that cater to older kids or young teens. In the post-7 pm slot, the channel has documentaries such as Walking with the Dinosaurs, Walking with Beasts, and Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone targeted at the entire family. And keeping young girls in mind, the channel has an evening programme called Sleep-over Club.

The channel finds kind of response it has received from the viewers encouraging. "Although company policy doesn't allow me to share distribution strategies, I can say that POGO is already available in 15 million homes," reveals Diamond. According to the company, viewership demographics indicate that one out of five children in the 4-14 age group, SEC AB residing in C&S homes in the six metros (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad) have tuned to POGO in the last three months. Adult viewership (15+, SEC AB, C&S homes in the six metros) stands at 16 per cent.

The channel claims that that the advertiser's response has also been extremely positive. "Advertisers recognize the increasing influence kids have on family purchase decisions, and are looking for more opportunities to reach kids and their families in environments which help them align their communication message," says Diamond. Although reluctant to share specifics pertaining to advertising revenues, he says, "Our channel offers a variety of programming choices for advertisers to align their brand messages, and within the first 15 days of offering advertising opportunities, we have core kid advertisers such as Perfetti and Glaxo Smithkline Beecham on aboard, as well as advertisers such as Samsung and Bajaj Auto, who target the entire family."

Interestingly, Turner International isn't particularly perturbed at the prospect of competition from soon-to-be-launched kids channels such as Hungama (from UTV) and Toons (to be launched by ZEE). Stating that that the entry of serious players in kids television entertainment will only help the genre grow, Diamond says, "As leaders in kids television, our plan of action will remain, as it has always been, to continuously and consistently acquire and showcase the best content - be it animation or live action - available locally and internationally for our young discerning viewers. We will continue to raise the bar and set the standards for the industry." He further states, "While our flagship brand Cartoon Network is home to the finest animated content available locally as well as globally since the last 8 years, POGO has quickly endeared itself to Indian audiences with its unique programming mix in just three months."

With leading players planning exclusive programming targeted at kids and tweens, it's clear that this particular segment of television industry is on the threshold of a boom of sorts. What remains to be seen is how best POGO can leverage its first-mover advantage to stay ahead of the pack. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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