Discovery Network to launch new channel for kids

Nivedita Ganguly Manisha Jha Mumbai | Updated on March 14, 2012

Discovery Networks International, a unit of Discovery Communications, has announced the launch of a new network in India — Discover Kids.

The channel that will be launched in April will be available in three Indian languages — English, Hindi and Tamil, Mr Mark Hollinger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Discovery Networks International, said at the inaugural day of FICCI Frames on Wednesday.

“Discovery Kids will offer Indian children the combination of learning and entertainment. A unique network in the kids’ genre, Discovery Kids will offer children a fun and entertaining way to satisfy their natural curiosity with stimulating and imaginative programming,” he said.

The channel will be launched for the first time in Asia and in countries including Indonesia and the Philippines later this year. “India is definitely poised for growth in this market. Thirty per cent of the population in this country is below the age of 14,’’ he added.

Discovery Channel

Tracing the journey of Discovery Channel in India, Mr Hollinger said that the channel has 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,’’ Mr Hollinger told Business Line. 

Talking about Discovery India’s performance and the company’s investment plans, Mr Hollinger said: “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.” He expects the country to be its biggest satellite television market in the next few years.

Growth potential

Commenting on India’s growth potential and 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 the 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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