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Maha Movie parent to launch FTA kids channel Cartoon TV in September

MUMBAI: Teleone Consumers Product, a New Delhi-based teleshopping company, is planning to launch a free-to-air (FTA) kids channel in September targeted at the Hindi-speaking markets (HSM).

The company already owns and operates two FTA channels—home shopping channel Teleshopping and Hindi movie channel Maha Movie.

The FTA kids channel will be known as Cartoon TV. The company is looking to fill a void in the rural market as most of the kids channels are pay. The target audience for the channel will be kids aged 4–14 years in rural areas.

Sanjay Verma Teleone“We will launch an FTA kids channel named Cartoon TV in mid-September. This will be the first FTA kids channel in the country. As per feedback we received from rural viewers, they wanted a channel that has something for kids,” Teleone Consumers Product CEO Sanjay Verma said.

Teleone has roped in Amit Dave as business head to spearhead the sales and distribution of the three TV channels.

The channel will have six hours of original content per day, said Verma. The content mix will include animation and live action. The channel will also have pre-school content.

The company is producing its own content. It is also acquiring content from foreign studios.

Verma informed that the company has set a studio in Delhi and Hyderabad to produce animated content for the channel.

teleone-logoThe channel’s distribution will be focused on digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III and IV markets besides Freedish, which has a huge reach in Hindi-speaking rural markets. Cartoon TV will also have a digital presence including YouTube.

The Indian kids TV genre is dominated by three large broadcasters—Viacom18 (Nick, Sonic and Nick Jr), Disney India (Disney Channel, Hungama, Disney XD and Disney Junior) and Turner India (Cartoon Network, Pogo and Toonami).

Despite being the third most-watched genre after Hindi GEC and Hindi movie, the kids genre is highly under-indexed with the ad market pegged at Rs 500 crore Rs 5 billion) growing at 10–15% annually.

Verma hopes to tap into FMCG brands that are looking to target kids in rural areas. While being tight-lipped about the investments being made in the new channel, Verma said that the kids channel should break even in two to three years.