Hoping to build on its unique positioning as India’s only 24-hour kidnet featuring local live-action content, HungamaTV and its owner UTV have applied to the country’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to launch two new kids channels. While launch dates are up in the air until the approvals process is completed, the first channel could hit the airwaves in six to nine months.
The plan is to split Hungama’s broad kids viewership between the three feeds to zero in on preschoolers, kids four to nine and tweens. Airing on pay platform Star TV, each net will feature a mix of live action and animation from both local producers and the international market, and they’ll share Hungama’s existing infrastructure for programming, marketing, sales and distribution.
After building up to reach 23% of India’s four- to 14-year-olds since launching in September 2004, Hungama currently sits behind only Cartoon Network, which has been airing in the region for 10 years. India’s population boasts a whopping 330 million kids under the age of 14, with only seven kids channels to serve them. This compares to 17 nets in the U.S. serving 61 million kids, and 20 kids channels in the U.K. for just 11 million kids.