Television

DD's kids channel could partner private players, launch this year

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MUMBAI: Building its channel bouquet. That’s what pubcaster Doordarshan which operates more than 37 channels is doing. Come later this year, and DD will launch a free to air channel (FTA) targeted at toddlers. This was confirmed to indiantelevision.com by its director general Supriya Sahu.

After GEC, kids is the third most expansive genre in terms of viewership and market potential, hence. Amongst the kids players in the space include: Disney and its clutch of channels, Viacom18, Zee Network, Cartoon Network, Sun TV etc.

Speaking to Indiantelevision, Sahu says: “There is a gap in our FTA bouquet on FreeDish of kids and we are working with the ministry of information and broadcasting and Prasar Bharati to plug it. As a public service broadcaster we would we doing injustice to children we don't come out with a kids specific channel. Soon, this year we should be finalizing its launch. The idea is that we should keep in place a very lean and efficient structure so we don’t pump in a lot of money. Perhaps we should share resources with the private sector which is already having the content. Perhaps share the revenue appears to me to be the best way to go about it.”

What’s making Sahu even more bullish is the way Indian kids are taking to hand held devices like tablets and smart phones. And DD is riding this wave with its DVB-T2 dongles which allow the reception of DD’s TV channels on phones and tablets without any data costs. Says she: “We have already done this in 19 places, digitized our analog transmitter. There is a huge opportunity that kids content will also be available on any smart phone and its is free of data charge and there will be downloading as well. By 2018, we will be making it available in 44 places. So simultaneously when we are working on the kids content, will work on its distribution also.”

Sahu is clearly not kidding.

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