Customised content gives a new children’s channel an Indian flavour

In a typical case of act local, think global, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific did a whole lot of research before introducing local content and colour to its new channel for Indian children. It launched animation and live action programmes on its new channel -- Discovery Kids in English, Hindi and Tamil on July 31.

The channel conducted an extensive survey with children in metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad on their viewership preferences. Children from pre-schools to tweens were shown programmes to gauge their inclinations and views. They were given questionnaires in Hindi, English and Tamil in which they were asked what kind of programmes they were eager to watch on television. It also tried to decipher when the children like watching their favourite shows, whether just after returning from school or towards the evenings.

“Extensive research was done to find out what children aged between four and 11 want to watch on their small screens. Based on the answers of respondents, we have launched Discovery Kids. The programmes approved by them will be aired and the ones they rejected will not be shown,” said a channel spokesperson.  The parents were also asked a set of questions and given the promise to deliver programmes approved by them which are an enriching and transformative experience for the children, the spokesperson added. Furthermore, children were also asked to choose the channel’s logo.

By planning to show a series of programmes in multiple genres like mythology, history, science, nature and adventure, the channel aims to ignite the imagination and increase the knowledge of 370 million children in the country. These programmes have been designed to offer a mix of both learning and entertainment.

According to Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (South Asia) senior vice-president Rahul Johri, the eighth channel has been launched to fill the huge untapped gap as only five or at best six channels are catering to children in the country.

“We will offer programmes like “Kim”, English writer Rudyard Kipling’s famous hero. Late wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin’s daughter Bindi Irwin will take viewers to different corners of the globe to meet her wonderful world of wildlife in ‘Bindi the Jungle Girl’. In ‘Sally Bollywood’ the girl is running a detective agency in school. With Sally’s intelligence and detective skills, no case is too hard to solve. It will have a flavour of Bollywood. ‘Howzzat’ will focus on gully cricket. The programmes cater to diverse demands of Indian kids.” The channel will also offer global content like “Papyrus” which is a story of a courageous boy who defends the ancient kingdom of Egypt. “Adiboo Adventure” will unveil all puzzling questions. “Wild Kratts” will explore oceans and trees. “Dex Hamilton” is world-famous alien entomologist and wildlife adventurer.