Discovery Kids to add two new language feeds, launch ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ on 12 Oct

MUMBAI: Discovery Communications India plans to add two new language feeds in addition to launching a new local animation IP ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ to grow its Discovery Kids channel.

The kids channel will launch two more language feeds Malayalam and Kannada besides debuting ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ starting 12th October. It already broadcasts in four languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and English. The kids’ channel will launch a marketing campaign based on the core ethos of the show ‘Friends + Masti = Fukrapanti’.

Discovery Kids to add two new language feeds, launch ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ on 12 Oct

Fukrey Boyzzz’ is produced by production house ‘Paper boat’. It will air at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm every day. The broadcaster added that it is looking at the whitespace of the 9-14 TG. Right now most kids content is targeted at the 4-8 TG. As a result of that, the older kids consume content on other platforms.

The new show will allow the broadcaster to play in the comedy space. The show will have 156 episodes initially. On the licensing and merchandising front, the broadcaster has tied up with Black White Orange for the show.

The broadcaster is looking to capitalise on the success of ‘Little Singham’ – an animation series inspired by the Supercop brand ‘Singham’.

Discovery MD South Asia Megha Tata said, “’Fukrey Boyzzz‘ is an apt representation of our ambition in the kids’ genre. We will continue to innovate and invest heavily in the genre with an aim to be a consistent top 3 player. We are also working towards skinning the Fukrey Boyzzz IP in multiple ways including launching branded merchandise.”

She noted that kids is one of Discovery’s three key pillars. She added that NTO has not affected the channel as much as it could have been due to the brand pull and the pricing. “Kids is an extremely important part of Discovery’s commitment in India. The new show is all about that. We would like to invest more in this area in terms of creating more IPs and be in the top three positions.”

She noted that getting a story from Bollywood was not easy. It is about finding the right story, the writers and seeing how the concept can relate to the kids. “A lot more work needs to go into it and that is what happened.” She noted that the animation is very simple and what works is the stories and the quality of storytelling.

Discovery Kids head Uttam Pal Singh said, “We are on a bold and fun journey to invest, invent and innovate our content to endearingly engaging with as well as expand our audiences. In the kids’ genre, there is a plethora of content targeted at 4-8 years, however, there is a prominent white space for content targeted at pre-teens broadly bracketed between 8-14 years old. With Fukrey Boyzzz and its hilarious ensemble of Choocha, Hunny, Lalli, and Bholi, we are launching a new contemporary series which will have a much wider appeal. In fact, we are confident that this innocent fun feast will attract co-viewing – parents watching along with their children.”

He noted that both its local shows have their own space. He said that ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ offers a slice of life humour. “The differentiated content works for us and we wanted to fill a void. Comedy is very important. The point is to tell the comedy in a comedy fashion. That is the challenge. What we are doing very differently with ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ is showcasing a very contemporary, character-driven slice of life humour.”

He also revealed that when Discovery pitched the show to Excel Entertainment they wanted to make sure that the broadcaster would take care of it. There was a trust and relationship building that happened.

“We had to build trust with them. Excel even involved their own team to see how the script development was happening. The script is the main thing. When you write a comedy show script is the key. Who is writing it? Adapting the movie into animation meant having to rework certain things. We had to put a kids filter on it. We had to see who the characters were who could really take the show forward. We can tell hundreds of stories around it. Getting a good writer really helped us,” Uttam stated.

He noted that the viewership whitespace is the 9-14 TG as most IPs focus on the 4-8 TG. “The genre loses on the 9-14 TG as the content that they see is kiddy. A 10-year-old kid does not want to see stuff created for a five-year-old. But comedy cuts across. We expect the show to cut across all the kids age groups and also the parents. We found the void and we are trying to fill it.”

He noted that Discovery Kids has regained reach post the NTO. Reach, he said, saw a bit of a downtrend during the NTO. “Kids want to come in and connect with Discovery Kids and its content. The genre had gone down during the NTO but now everybody is on a growth path. Each broadcaster is facing challenges and is reworking things to face those challenges.”

He noted that the biggest opportunity is the new IP. He noted that during the NTO there was viewership consolidation around a few players but post that things are diversified. “Everybody had to make the effort to reach their viewership path. Our distribution team has done a tremendous job.”

In terms of whitespaces, he said that two new languages are those whitespaces. The South is a very important market for the channel. “Post the NTO, localisation of content has given more dividends. Our focus is definitely skewed towards the South. That is where we get the most time spent.”

He also said that the broadcaster is in the process of getting advertisers on-board for the new show. “A lot of people are interested. A lot of deals are being discussed.”

Tata noted that overall for Discovery the third quarter has been very good from an ad point of view. She points to the ‘Man Vs Wild’ episode that featured PM Narendra Modi. “I am hoping that it will be a happy Diwali for all of us. We have ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ on Discovery Kids. Discovery will see a couple of things happen. Animal Planet will have new shows. I am hoping that the fourth quarter will be better.”

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