Summer Bonanza Awaits Children on Television

By Manpreet Kaur

New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) It's not just children who are looking forward to the summer vacations. For TV channels catering to them, it's a great time to lure young ones with new shows and some are even offering foreign trips as the big prize!

"Summer is always an important viewing period for us. We foresee our viewership growing by 20-25 percent during this period. This is the time when kids genre receives a phenomenal rise," Kashmira Gandhi, a director of Nick India, told IANS.

India offers a total of nine channels for kids - Cartoon Network, POGO, Nick, Disney channel, Hungama TV, Disney XD and three regional channels Chutti TV (Tamil), Kushi TV (Telugu) and Chintu TV (Kannada).

Most of the channels are trying to catch more eyeballs with new shows and contests.

"During holidays viewership goes up by 20 percent in comparison to the rest of the year. We see a rise in terms of children spending time on our channels which varies between 120 and 200 minutes," Devika Prabhu, associate director of programming, Walt Disney TV International (India), told IANS over phone.

The timetable includes changes in the indoor programme format and, besides, the bosses are also giving weightage to on-ground activities.

"This summer POGO will present a special edition of its popular movie block," said Krishna Desai, director-programming, South Asia, Turner International India Pvt. Ltd.

It is called "Lights Camera POGO Badaa Cinema" and the more-than-a- month-long programme is on from May 2 to June 27. Every Sunday at 12 noon movies like "Drona", "Detective Nani", "Bhootnath", "Meerabai Not Out", "Return of Hanuman" and "Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii" will be screened.

"POGO will also launch new episodes of Indian animation hero - 'Chhota Bheem', art show M.A.D. and a brand new comic show 'Kyoro Chan'," Desai added.

Hungama TV is banking on its popular shows.

"Hungama TV is positioned as a fun channel and it is offering new episodes of popular shows 'Doraemon', 'Kiteretsu and 'Shin Chan'. New show 'Robotan' will also be launched soon," said Prabhu.

"Disney has introduced a theme celebration titled 'Superstars Summer', which will feature a new Disney star every week. The latest to join is Omi Vaidya, who played Chatur in '3 Idiots'. He is doing a cameo in the channel's popular show 'Kya Mast Hai Life'," Prabhu added.

Disney will also offer an international trip to the winner as a prize. The channel will be handing out 1,001 prizes to its viewers for answering questions aired on the channel at the end of every programme and the first prize will be a trip to Disneyland.

The other activities include Hungama's Karaoke marathon that will give a chance to the winner to feature in a special music video for the channel.

"Nick is attempting a 360 degree plan by spreading its wings with a new series - 'Kung Fu-Master of the Zodiac'," said Gandhi.

Nick is also planning a trip to London as a prize. Gandhi, however,refused to divulge details.


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