DV Group of Companies has announced the launch of its new media venture, India s first free-to-air Hindi kids cartoon channel, Maha Cartoon TV. It will be launched on November 1, 2016, on Freedish, the free DTH platform of Prasar Bharati. The company has already launched the Maha Movie channel.

Teleone Consumers Product, owned by the DV Group of Companies, will operate the channel. Teleone already operates a teleshopping channel, Teleshopping, besides Maha Movie. This will be the third channel from the company.

The space for a Hindi free-to-air channel was virtually lying idle. Children constitute about 65 percent of the audience in rural and semi-urban areas. Families have no other option but to pay and watch or else forego the requirement of kids due to economic reasons.

Vishvajeet Sharma, Managing Director and Founder Director of the group, said, “Today we have more than 20 kids channels in the national domain but none of them is free-to-air. Children in rural and semi-urban areas in India do not have access to kids’ entertainment because of the cost factor. Also, the time taken to prepare such content is more. A single episode of 22 minutes takes one and a half to two months to complete, increasing the cost of acquisition and creation.”

Darshan Singh, Chairman and Founder Director of the group, said, “I relate to this audience as I come from a rural area. After spending time and energy to establish ourselves in this media industry, we felt it was about time to give something back to the people where we belong.”

Sanjay Verma, CEO of the group, elaborated, “Diwali came early this year for our Indian kids as we are launching India s first Hindi free-to-air kids cartoon channel, Maha Cartoon TV. It is a Hindi language channel targeting the age group of 4-14 years. It will feature unique cartoon characters conceived and made by in-house production teams. They have created Indian characters which will instantly appeal to Indian kids. They have the potential to be popular homegrown characters that kids can easily relate to.”

The key shows and cartoon characters that will debut on Maha Cartoon TV are Mooshak Gungun, the Indian adaption of the classical cat and mouse chase show, which will have frills, adventure and Indian origin and flavour; Bal Chanakya is about an Indian kid with a sharp mind and a strong ability to overcome various obstacles with ease and composure; Panchtantra, a compilation of short stories that give a message of our immense cultural heritage; Ciko, a character which tells you facts related to various aspects of life which we are unaware of.

The channel will also air a variety of foreign content, which will be shown for the first time in the Indian market like the Charlie Chaplin show. The content will be dubbed in Hindi. Apart from cartoon series, it will air interactive and educative programming. It will debut Techno Kids as the first techno commercial show that aims at harnessing the imagination of kids and making gizmos from day-to-day items of use. The channel will also air children’s movies. – Best Media Info