Barney brings smile to kids and new business opp

MUMBAI: If you forget for a while this is business, just think: two dozen hardened scribes armed with tough questions laughed in glee and clapped heartily… Barney & Friends are here, for the first time in India.

There is business, of course, but the short sneak peek for the media saw what Kavita Bedi said come true. Barney does indeed touch the child in everyone of us. Bedi's company Just Because It's Children has brought the world famous show to India.

The huge Tyrannosaurus rex and his two friends danced and sang with amazing agility, despite their fluffy costumes, and gave a preview of the pure, innocent entertainment that is now a billion dollar industry the world over, as Nik Larkin, officially designated Chief Dreamer at MEI Entertainment of Australia (MEIEA) told after the press preview.

The show is to be held at the Siri Fort Auditorium on 17 and 18 February, and Bedi was forthcoming: "I need the media's help to make this programme a success."

Bedi told this correspondent that as a marketing person, she feels there is a huge business in this sector of live edutainment, where entertainment is not just educative but has parental approval as well. "We shall talk money if this programme is successful. Let's see," she said.

Part of this business outlook was evident with sponsors ranging from Lilliput, Sunfest Pasta Treat, HT I Love Delhi, Hotel Intercontinental, Eros, Whirlpool, LIC, Berger Kidz, Singapore Airlines and others.

Tickets range from Rs 1,500 down to Rs 300, "so that a wide range of children and their parents will be able to see the show," Bedi says. But she added that 50 disadvantaged children - to be selected by the various NGOs her company works with - will be given free tickets.

This show is the outcome of an exclusive tie-up between JBC and MEIEA, which is the official licensee of Barney Big Funtime, along with Turner International's kids channel Pogo.

Monica Tata, Turner vice president, advertising sales and networks (India and South Asia) said that this is a big business but did not want to talk about any new business model.

Asked whether there seems to be a new business direction emerging at Turner's with two programmes with outside companies and NGOs coming in rapid succession (Turner is also promoting the Galli Galli Sim Sim kids programmes to be taken to slums through TV on push carts), she said: "There is no business model. Galli Galli is a different project with a different philosophy and aim… this programme is different."

She explained that this is in keeping with Turner's policy of staying ahead in the business of kids entertainment. "We had introduced Barney and Friends to India in 2004, in our pre-school block, Tiny TV. Likewise, it was natural for us to pioneer this kind of stage shows for children and we are the media partners in the project."

Bedi admitted that this is a hugely costly project. Apart from the cost of bringing in the team, there was research. She said her company is trying to bring in something radically new in children's education and entertainment.

Asked why she thought children here would relate to things so distinctly foreign, she said that she had followed the programme elsewhere as part of her research, and "whether they are Malaysians or Chinese, children have accepted this as their programme," she averred.

But she would not disclose the cost, and though the programme has several sponsors at various levels, she did not want to discuss business issues.

MEI has been working in the field of edutainment for the past 20 years and have created some major live family entertainment programmes in Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Middle East.

Currently it is doing these live character shows using licensed characters from major entertainment property owners, such as Cartoon Network, HIT Entertainment, and others, and some of their programmes - whether originally created by them or licensed - have played in other languages like Mandarin, Cantonese and Arabic.

Barney, a character created in 1987 by Sheryl Leach, has already won the BEANIE License of the Year in 1993, from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association, and played live at Bill Clinton's inauguration as US president.


Latest Reads
TV is story-teller's new novel; audience is Bharat, not India: Star's Banerjee

MUMBAI: Since five to six years, television has become the talking point. Th series such as 'Breaking Bad' to Transparent to Narcos to 'Game of Thrones' to 24, and now POW (Prisoners of Wars) has changed the experience of television viewing.

Television TV Channels GECs
Star World to air 1-5 of 'Homeland'

Star World and Star World HD is all geared up to air the pulse-pounding action series 'Homeland.' The show tackles geopolitical moral conundrums of our current world. It has recently unveiled the teaser for the upcoming season 6 shows how Carrie Mathison will circumvent around another international...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Share all World Cup, T-20 feeds with Prasar Bharati, rights holder told

The telecast of all official one-day and Twenty-20 matches played by the Indian Men’s Cricket Team will henceforth have to be shared by the rights holder with the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
Saregama returns to film music acquisition with Pen pact

Saregama India has inked a two-movie deal with Pen Movies. With this agreement, Saregama has acquired the music rights of upcoming Bollywood releases of Pen which includes Kahaani 2 -- Durga Rani Singh, featuring Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal.Kahaani 2 is slated for a release on 2 December.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Q2-17: Zeel numbers, PAT up on higher Ad and Subscription revenue

The Subhash Chandra led content and broadcast player Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zeel) reported a 23 per cent hike in consolidated revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Television TV Channels GECs
Best Deal TV appoints Hari Trivedi as COO

MUMBAI: Best Deal TV has appointed Hari Trivedi as the chief operating officer with immediate effect. Based in Mumbai, Trivedi will be responsible for overall sales and marketing. He would also be initializing lowest price offers and deals on Best Deal TV.

Television TV Channels People
Disney announces successor of MD Siddharth Roy-Kapur

MUMBAI: Walt Disney International has announced the successor to its former managing director Siddharth Roy-Kapur. As a second stint with the organization, Mahesh Samat has made a comeback and will lead The Walt Disney Company India as the managing director. He will pursue his new responsibility...

Television TV Channels People
Life is more imaginative than fiction in a story like POW, says writer-director Gideon Raff

MUMBAI: Sometimes, coming back home after 17 years is not always a happy ending. "Prisoners of War" is the story of three Israeli soldiers, who were held captive for that many years following their kidnapping while on a secret mission with their unit.

Television TV Shows Thriller
IPL media rights bidding postponed sine die

MUMBAI: The BCCI has made it clear that the media rights auction cannot take place till the time it gets a concrete go-ahead and a formal approval from the Justice RM Lodha committee. Till the evening of 24 October (Monday), BCCI did not receive the okay from the committee which said, "it is in...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories