NEW DELHI: Indian kids will soon have one more channel choice on the tube, as the state-owned Doordarshan network gets ready to launch the Children’s Channel in November. The new channel is one of four the net is developing-the others will be dedicated to sports, culture and education, respectively.
‘We want to expand the scope of Doordarshan beyond entertainment,’ says information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj. ‘It’s time we did a bit of narrowcasting too, rather than limit ourselves to broadcasting.’
Although the Indian network will be shopping for some animation and drama series (to the tune of US$500 per hour) at MIPCOM 98 and NATPE 99, Swaraj hopes to glean 50% of the channel’s content from domestic sources. ‘The programming opportunities are tremendous, given that there is so much talent available in the country today,’ she says, making a special mention of the National School of Drama’s kids repertoire. ‘At least [today's children] won’t have to suffer Hindu-dubbed versions of foreign kids shows.’
The new channel will broadcast half its programming in English, and the other half in regional languages.