Television

Turner makes two-step move into theme parks business in India

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MUMBAI: Turner International, which owns and operates the leading kids channel brands in India Cartoon Network and Pogo, has announced its entry into the theme parks business.

By mid-2007, Turner expects to have two branded theme parks up and running in the capital --- Cartoon Network Townsville and Planet Pogo.

Making the announcement in the capital today, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia senior vice president and general manager Ian Diamond said his company has entered into a strategic business alliance with International Recreation Parks Private Ltd (which built Delhi's famous Appu Ghar) for Townsville, and the Unitech Amusement Parks Ltd for Planet Pogo.

Cartoon Network Townsville will be situated in Sector 38 A, Noida in the children's section of the park known as 'Worlds of Wonder'. While, Planet Pogo will be located within the 60-acre 'Adventure Island' park being built in Rohini's Sector 10.

The 3.5 acre Planet Pogo, with eight rides and seven themed attractions, will be open to the public by the fourth quarter of 2006 and the 6.8 acre Townsville with 13 theme rides will open in mid 2007.

Turner has not yet disclosed the price of entry tickets and time limit for visitors. The total investment for the project will be around Rs 5.5 billion, which will be done in conjunction with two partners.

Reiterating Turner's commitment to India, Diamond said, "As kids' entertainment superbrands, our constant endeavour has been to provide a 'complete' lifestyle brand experience through every initiative that we launch in India. It is, thereby, only fitting that we extend our expertise in the realm of theme parks, providing for the very first time, world-class, next-generation theme parks that will truly catapult India into the international map of high quality destination entertainment centres for kids and their families."

Said Cartoon Network Enterprises' director India and South Asia Jiggy George, "It is our vision to develop a 21st century entertainment centre so creative in concept and so exciting in application that visitors will continue to discover new ways to enjoy the theme parks. Once again, we combine local and global expertise to develop a destination dedicated exclusively for Indian kids and their families. Some of the rides being made for the parks will have their global launch with the parks' opening. There will be thrilling rides and both the theme parks will be world class. Traffic consultant MVA, which manages the city traffic in Hong Kong, has been roped in to regulate the visitors' flow in the theme parks.''

George further added, "Having established a strong-footing in the country with our licensing and merchandising businesses, the theme parks mark the dawn of the next chapter of kids' entertainment in the country."

Cartoon Network presently has theme parks in Argentina, Italy, United States and Australia.

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