NGC to launch Nat Geo Junior from 24 January

NEW DELHI: First Discovery did it with its leisure and travel channel. And, now Nat Geo is doing it: use India as an incubating market to test out new ideas.

From 24 January, National Geographic Channel will be offering in India a dedicated kids block, called Nat Geo Junior, created specifically for children aged between seven and 14 years, which is a first in the history of company.

An excited NGC India senior vice president content and communication Dilshad Master told today, "The whole globe and the NGC family is looking at us in India to see how this dedicated kids programming works out. It's a big challenge for us."

This new offering from National Geographic Channel --- an hour in the evening on weekdays and 10 am to mid-day on Sundays --- will include programming on animation, adventure, science and other topics.

Pointing out that an Indian success story "may result in its replication by NGC in other world markets," Master said that advertisers have responded enthusiastically to this new idea that germinated about six months back.

Nat Geo Junior has been conceptualised and being put into action after extensive research on the evolving kids' entertainment market in India. The new block seeks to provide a balance between high quality kids' entertainment and an environment that encourages learning for young viewers.

Why has a kids block been brought on Nat Geo when there are already several high-profile channels catering to the target audience? "We felt that all other kids' channels are operating in the entertainment space. Since we at NGC pride ourselves at providing an opportunity for fun, even while learning something, the new idea was given shape with ample backup from the parent company and research," Master explained.

Adds National Geographic Channel India MD Zubin Gandevia, "Nat Geo Junior will open up a whole new viewing experience for kids in India. We recognise that television has taken a central role in kids' lives and the new block will offer a unique platform where kids will have fun and learn at the same time."

According to Gandevia, the new programming block will not only appeal to their viewers, but will also enhance their offering to their partners - advertisers and cable operators. The block, packaged especially for India, will offer a unique mix of internationally acclaimed shows like Backyard Science and the Serious series. For animation lovers, there is Doc Eurek- an animated series that brings alive inventions and inventors.

The Serious series - an international award winning series that is a trailblazer in children's factual entertainment programming --- will include Serious Desert, Serious Jungle and Serious Arctic. This series places confident youngsters in an extreme environment, where they are offered genuine and positive encouragement to learn and work on a worthy environmental programme..

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