Hungama TV banking on movies, four driver shows

MUMBAI: United Home Entertainment has acquired telecast rights to 40 movies for kids channel Hungama TV at over Rs 10 million.

"The average acquisition cost is Rs 2.5 lakh (Rs 250,000) per movie," said UTV chief executive officer Ronnie Screwvala on the sidelines of the media briefing announcing the launch of Hungama TV.

The acquisition is from international production houses such as Hit Entertainment, Cookie Jar Entertainment, Pyramids Entertainment, Beyond Films, Nirvana, and Australian Children Trust Federation. Talks are also on to buy rights for children movies from Indian production houses.

Hungama TV will show a movie every day at 9 pm. "Kids movies are not regularly on Indian television. It will play an important role for us. We are targeting these movies at family viewing along with the kids," said Hungama TV chief operating officer Purnendu Bose.

A Tamil language feed will be "launched on the 90th day as it is the second biggest TV market after Hindi. Hungama TV expects to reach 30 million cable and satellite TV homes within four weeks of launch.

Hungama TV is scheduled to kick off on 26 September with a UTV-produced show called Tiger. The channel, however, is yet to get clearance from the Indian government. As of 3:30 pm today, according to an official in the I&B ministry, Hungama's application was still being processed as a clearance from the home ministry had not yet arrived. But the official termed such clearances as routine and expressed the hope that it could be completed in a few days time.

Hungama TV, which will start with 22 shows that will make up eight hours of original content, has four driver shows in Full Toss, Gol Gol Gullam, Noddy Aur Daddy and Kaarthika. Gol Gol Gullam, a game show, that will air Monday to Wednesday at 5 pm. The show is produced by UTV, which will be churning out approximately 30 per cent of the total programming content for Hungama TV.

Hungama TV is a mainline broadcasting channel in the general entertainment space in the age group 4-14 years, said Screwvala. The segment Chattar Pattar Hour is targeted at pre-schoolers while Halla Gulla Hour (5 pm - 6 pm) is targeted at the 10-14-year-olds. Non-Stop Dhamaka and Ulta Pulta Club will feature live action game shows, comedy, science fiction and adventures.

Production house Roots & Wings is doing the show Loomba while another show Paowan will be produced by three houses - Mahrrushk Ikh, Media Track and Creative Eye.

Noddy and Daddy, a comedy show, will air from Monday to Tuesday at 7 pm. The show is produced by Garima Productions. The show Kaarthika is produced by Balaji Telefilms.

Full Toss, an inter-school cricket match show shot in the studio, will air from Thursday to Saturday at 5 pm. The show will feature Indian players as the captain of the various school teams.

Commenting on the channel's prime band, Bose said: "Since the TG is pre-schoolers and secondary school children, the shows are executed in such a manner that it appeals to the whole family as India is mostly a single TV-home country."

The marketing campaign, which is currently underway, reaches out to 2,000 schools across 15 cities and approximately 2.2 million school kids are being targeted. Besides schools, the multimedia campaign is also encircled through television, radio and outdoors such as hoardings and bus shelters.

Another marketing initiative stunt, Hungama nimbu pani, was conducted in playgrounds across Mumbai for three days at 10 locations. Car stickers are also being utilised to spread the message of the channel's launch date.

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