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Four original, Indian, animated shows to start with: 'Local' to be Sony Yay! USP

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Network India is getting bigger and better with time. In just four months, the network has reached up to nine new channels.

Started with acquiring ZEEL’s Ten Sports bouquet, the network launched music channel Sony Rox HD, Sony BBC Earth, Sony BBC Earth HD, and now the kids channel -- Sony Yay!

With the launch of Sony Yay!, the network has added 29th channel to its growing family. The channel, which will go live on 18 April, will be available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages across direct-to-home (DTH) and digital cable platforms.

Promising to be the ‘Destination for Unlimited Happiness’ for kids, the channel has roped in the young cinestar, Tiger Shroff, who has become a phenomenon with kids across the country, as its brand ambassador.

Targeted towards bringing more happiness to kids between 2 and 14 years of age, Sony Yay! will go live with four original, locally produced, animated shows, a first for any channel in this genre.

Sony Pictures Networks (SPNI) CEO NP Singh said, “It goes without saying that the Indian television industry is at the interesting crossroads, with the kids genre being a frontrunner in demanding innovation and freshness. Our kids channel, Sony YAY! with its original programming will excite and engage the young audience and leave a lasting impact on their hearts and minds. With the launch of Sony Yay!, the network now offers tailor-made propositions for every member of the family.”

Broadcasters have been on the continuous lookout to have more channels and programmes for kids in their portfolio. As per the FICCI KPMG report of 2017, there are 15 kids channel which are run by four major broadcasters, that is Disney (Disney, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Hungama), Viacom 18 ( Nickelodeon, Sonic, Teen Nick, Nick Jr), Turner ( Cartoon Network, Pogo, Toonami) and Sun TV (Chutti TV, Kochu TV, Chintu TV, Kushi TV).

As per BARC data, Nick has been the leader of the genre followed by Pogo TV, Disney, Hungama and Cartoon Network. “Its a highly competitive genre, and, to begin with, being in top five will be the target of this year, and, by next year, the target will be: to be in the top three,” Singh said.

Talking about the original content, Sony Yay business head Leena Lele Dutta informed, “We are launching the channel with the four original shows. We are looking at 80 per cent of slots to be filled with local shows.”

The channel is promoting 7am to 10am time band. “Each show is of 22 minutes in which two stories will be shown of 11 mins each. We will have shows play out differently in the morning, a variety of stories at 1pm, and it will be different for the 4pm slot, as well. By the end of the year, we will have 52 episodes of 104 stories each. In October, we will have two more show launches.”

Dutta further added, “We have done our research before launching the channel. We found that there is dearth of differentiated local content, and our aim is to reach out to the kids, and give them what is missing from their staple diet.”

Cosmos Maya, Toonz Animation, Frisbee Animation and Softtools are the studios working on these shows.

A first-of-its-kind musical comedy titled Guru Aur Bhole Mon – Fri at 10am, Sab Jholmaal Hai - A world full of pets that’s nothing short of mischief, mayhem, madness, Mon – Fri at 9am, a classic tale of venturesome friendship Prince Jai Aur Dumdaar Viru Mon – Fri at 11am and a unique laugh-out-loud Ghost Comedy Paap-O-Meter Sat – Sun at 12pm will form the key programming mix of the channel at the time of launch.

The shows promise to bring unlimited laughter and uninterrupted volumes of fun into the lives of our young generation. Each show explores a different genre in comedy and guarantees uniqueness in terms of its characterisation and narrative, giving the little ones an experience they have not witnessed so far on their television screens.

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