Television

Hungama TV names board of directors for this year

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MUMBAI: The former UTV owned kids channel Hungama TV made its first official announcement today following its acquisition by the Walt Disney Company. Hungama TV announced their annual selection of their board of directors called the Captains Club which includes ten children from across key cities who act both as a network of local information systems as well as official spokespersons for the channel.

Representing Hungama TV was VP programming and production Aparna Bhosle who has recently joined the Disney bandwagon and will report Walt Disney Company (India) managing director Rajat Jain. Hungama TV however, appears to be scouting for a head. Bhosle declined to divulge details of the same.

After coming under the Disney banner, gradual changes are likely to be expected in the acquired channel. However, both parties say that the positioning of the channel will remain the same. On the programming front, the first fruits of these changes are visible as Toon Disney's Power Rangers series has been added to Hungama's portfolio of shows, as of 1 January.

In addition, driver properties on Hungama TV like Doreamon and Shinchan are likely to be pushed further with the support of Disney's Consumer Products Division with merchandising activities on the anvil.

When queried by Indiantelevision.com about the occurrence of a conflict of interest as being a natural outcome following the buy out, Bhosle said Hungama TV compliments the offerings of the Disney pair and so far there have been no such demands to implement any such adjustments.

Kicking off the New Year, Hungama TV has been swift in getting down to business by taking the opinions of the newly appointed board of directors to plan for the year ahead. This board will meet on a quarterly basis to discuss business, an area in which they will be trained by industry experts from each of their local centers. They will also spearhead all local activities of the channel in each of their cities.

What appears to be a glaring demand among these kids is the need for more live action content. Primarily governed by 'tweens', this board will act as a critique for the channel and keep them abreast of the growing competition.

On speaking to the Captains some of them freely spoke of the changes they would like to see implemented on the channel. Being given priority is the live action show Hero, which the kids see as unrealistic and far fetched.

Instead, they have suggested a more practical approach based on science rather than imagination. In additions, they also proposed that more on-ground activities need to be executed to drive kids to the channel. They will be required to put into perspective "What children want to see on television across the nation." This is a culmination of a three month long event titled Parle G Hungama TV Captains Hunt 2006- 2007.

Bhosle of course said that considering their suggestions has helped the channel in the past and that changes in live action content such as Hero are likely to be seen, as the core focus for the channel is the belief in "kid's empowerment."

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