Factual entertainment network Discovery has launched in India its kids channel, Discovery Kids, to fight in a genre that is struggling to push up revenues amidst strong competition.
Discovery's eighth channel in India will be in three languages – English, Hindi, and Tamil. Discovery Kids is priced at Rs 13.75 in analogue and a little over Rs 6 in digital.
Discovery General Manager (South Asia) Rahul Johri said that the channel was aimed at children between 4 and 11 years from amongst the 370 million children under 14 years of age.
Most of the programmes on the channel are in animation but some are in live action. Some of the shows are aimed at children aged between four to six years. The mid-morning is reserved for these young ones, while the other programmes will be aired later in the evening.
Discovery Kids is already running in Latin America and in the Asia Pacific region from the Philippines, but the Indian channel will have several indigenously produced programmes.
Johri said research had shown parents wanted a kids channel that had programming they could trust. Hence, the tagline 'Ignite your imagination'.
Johri told that the channel is presently available only on Videocon D2H and Dish TV among the DTH platforms, but will shortly be available on other platforms too.
While pointing out that the channel will not take advertising immediately but will do so within a month or so, he did not agree that there was a slowdown in advertising. "In any case, we are here for a long haul", he added. He felt that experience from the other Discovery channels had shown that it was a healthy market.
Johri said that the channel would use all its usual methods for advertising the new channel, not only on its own channels but on others as well. However, he refused to divulge any figures about the advertising budget.
Positioned as a factual channel, Discovery Kids has no plans at present to take fictional stories. However, he did not rule out taking tales from the Panchtantra since they were moral in nature.
The research had covered focused groups in all the major cities. "Discovery Kids will offer Indian children an entertaining way to satisfy their natural curiosity and promises to ignite their imagination through stimulating programming. It will form the bedrock for development of their social, cognitive, emotional and personal skills. The channel will usher in a new wave of kids' entertainment in India – one which will have them engaged and their parents satisfied," he said.
The channel will have some shared content from the Latin American or Asia Pacific channels but will also have some indigenous stories. Johri said some of the animation was also being done in India. The channel will be working on more Indian shows in the near future.
Discovery Kids website will launch next week. Discovery already runs the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, Discovery HD, and Discovery Tamil Nadu.
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