Pogo officially launched but not to be seen

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Pogo, the new kids channel from the Turner stable, seems to have become a victim of the ongoing CAS controversy. At least in North India and Mumbai the channel, which debuted on 1 January, is not to be seen.


Though the official spokesperson for Turner International India insisted that the channel has been launched as scheduled on Thursday, he could only confirm that Pogo was available in Bangalore.

Cable operators in Mumbai and Delhi pointed out that with all the confusion around CAS, Pogo could wait.

A senior executive of Hathway Datacom, a multi-system operator (MSO) in which Star has 26 per cent equity stake, said, "We haven't received the boxes for Pogo in Delhi and with CAS taking up our time, we cannot be really bothered about a kids channel, which can wait."

An independent operator in Delhi, Home Cable's Vikki Chowdhry, pointed out, "With so much of confusion already around, why contribute to it by adding another channel (Pogo) to the list? The pricing of the channel would throw up another controversy."

Even senior executives of Siti Cable, a Zee Telefilms arm, were not sure whether Pogo was being shown on their networks in the country or not. Zee Telefilms has a distribution joint venture with Turner, called Zee Turner Pvt. Ltd.

Similar comments were voiced by representatives of INCableNet, Hathway and Siti Cable in Mumbai as well. Siti Cable officials in Mumbai however, did point to the possibility of Pogo being included as part of the MSO's channel offerings by mid-January or thereabouts.

However, the Turner India spokesperson told over phone that in places like Bangalore, Pogo was very much part of the cable networks and that the boxes needed to access Pogo, a digitally encrypted channel, had already been seeded in the market.

In November, Turner India had announced that it would launch a brand new channel for kids and people in their early teens, especially customised for the Indian market, from 1 January.

Beaming off the PAS 10 satellite, Pogo features live action, drama, movies and series. The USP of the channel, however, will be feature films that will be regularly aired and will differentiate it from existing channels for kids, notably sister channel Cartoon Network and rival Nickelodeon.

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