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Sony Yay banks on originals with a slew of fresh content

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MUMBAI: Home-grown content in India is growing by leaps and bounds. Recently, Discovery Kids launched Little Singham as its new character to spearhead its library of originals and now Sony Yay has also rolled up its sleeves to be in the thick of competition. The channel has a new show, KickO and Super Speedo, on the cards along with 10 original movies.

Just a year into its launch, Sony Yay’s punt on originals is a bold move. The channel is investing in excess of Rs 50 lakh per episode of KickO and Super Speedo. The show, which will be aired everyday beginning 21st May at 12.00 pm, is being produced by Green Gold that promises to capture kids’ imagination through high-quality 3D animation.

This summer, it is launching five movies as a part of its movie festival ‘Housefull Fridays’. Based on two of Sony Yay’s flagship shows—Honey Bunny and Guru aur Bhole—the movies being premiered are Honey Bunny in Plane Hijack, Honey Bunny in Himalayan Car Rally, Honey Bunny in Double Impact, Guru aur Bhole the Gladiators and Guru aur Bhole in Alien Busters. Apart from these movies, the channel is also introducing new holiday episodes of the shows.

Sony Yay business head Leena Lele Dutta said that the channel’s initial plan was to come up with a Marathi audio feed instead of Malayalam. “We want to explore Maharashtra as it constitutes 14 per cent of our portion [target audience]. But we didn’t want to upset the apple cart right now. We decided to stick to our Hindi feed and [therefore] we saw an opportunity to venture into Kerala, considering its dynamics.”

“The management saw a huge gap in number 1 and 2 slots in terms of market share and critical ratings for Kerala market. That was the only reason to grab the opportunity to emerge in the Kerala market. Bengali was an obvious option for the channel to emerge into,” she added. The roadmap for Sony Yay doesn’t end there. “We might come up with a Marathi audio feed as well but it is not decided yet.”

Kick starting the year with a bang, the channel has already produced 88 hours of original content and is slated to scale up to an additional 120 hours in the second year. Sony Yay claims that it is the only kids channel to have 100 per cent of its airtime dedicated to original content in the viewable hours (7 am to 10 pm).

Intending to be a part of not only kids’ entertainment but also a part of their everyday lives, the channel has entered into a licensing and merchandising association with Black White Orange (BWO), a licensing, merchandising and brand agency. The deal includes toys, stationery and apparel.

Sony Yay has upped the ante for itself within just a year of launch. Taking the plunge into original animated content, the network has set its sights high.

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