Discovery to launch children's channel

Nivedita Ganguly Manisha Jha Mumbai | Updated on November 23, 2017

Come summer vacations and kids in India will have more entertainment options. Discovery Networks International, a unit of Discovery Communications, has announced the launch of a new network in India – Discovery Kids.

The channel will be launched in April and will be available in three Indian languages – English, Hindi and Tamil. This is significant as the kids entertainment genre in the regional space is fairly unexplored territory.

Making the announcement on the inaugural day of FICCI Frames, Mr Mark Hollinger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Discovery Networks International said, “Discovery Kids will offer Indian children the combination of learning and entertainment through stimulating and imaginative programming.”

Later, speaking to Business Line, Mr Hollinger described how Discovery Channel had grown from a single network to eight distinct networks with leadership across viewership, brand perception and HD technology.

“Going forward, the channel is also looking to enter the retail, merchandising and licensing space. We are exploring the opportunities in these sectors,” he said.

Mr Hollinger said he expects the country to be its biggest satellite television market in the next few years. “We have expanded our business in India reaching out to over 175 million households. India is one of our key priority markets and we will continue to invest here.”

Commenting on the impact of the digitisation drive, he said, “The fact that India is moving towards 100 per cent digitisation presents an opportunity for all of us. Digitisation of broadcast will make bandwidth usage more efficient, leading to wider choice for the viewers and newer opportunities for media companies.” Discovery currently gets a third of its revenues from international markets, he added.

On the outlook for the kids entertainment genre in regional channel space on television, Mr Jehil Thakkar, Head, Media and Entertainment Practice – KPMG, told Business Line that the genre remains a fairly unexplored space so far with broadcasters concentrating on the non-regional space only so far.

“So far broadcasters have gone for low-hanging fruit and explored the general entertainment genre for kids without getting into regional space. But I see this segment growing along with growth of mobile and online media helped by the fact that children are early adopters of technology and will contribute to a content transformation.”

Published on March 14, 2012

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