Last year, Eenadu Television (ETV), Telugu’s biggest media network celebrated its 25th anniversary and had announced that it will be venturing into the kids’ space with the launch of ETV Bal Bharat channel in 12 Indian languages. Finally, the channel is all set to entertain and edutain kids in their preferred language from Monday, 27 April.
Talking about the idea behind ETV venturing into the kids space, ETV Bal Bharat head of content Rajeshwari Roy told AnimationXpress, “Ramoji Group has been pioneering in the media and entertainment from the very beginning in the history of Indian television. 26 years back the brand launched its first regional TV channels. Taking the legacy forward, Shri Ramoji Rao, the chairman of the group, conceived the idea of launching 12 TV channels for kids of Bharat and provide pure Desi flavour to brand new world-class content and original shows to make a mark in the history of Indian television. Such a visionary and mammoth work has not been achieved before. He also believes that the children, the future citizens of our country deserve safe and quality entertainment and infotainment for their overall upbringing and growth.”
The channel is setting itself apart from the existing kid’s channels by being the first player in the kids’ universe to provide exclusive 12 Indian languages (Telugu, English, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, Assamese, Bangla, Odia and Punjabi) channels including English with separate SD and HD feed with language changing options.
Due to the covid-19 situation, there has been a delay in the launch. However, Roy asserted, “There hasn’t been much of a shift in the timeline as we are launching 12 channels in a record time of three years.”
ETV Bal Bharat is bringing lots of pure Indian content. To start with, they will air Abhimanyu – The Young Yodha. The story revolves around Abhimanyu who is the son of Manikchand, a silk merchant and an athletic young citizen of Kaushika- a city protected by a magical dome wall, which protects it from harm from any evil, magical being. He and his team of five friends Potol, Gupsup, Falak, Minchu and his warrior training master Guru Shivdutt will stand against any odds to protect their beloved city in case of any infiltration of the magic wall.
Next is the first science fiction show in the country, Chotu Lambu and Robu, which is a hilarious comedy action-adventure series about two aliens from planet Zudo, accompanied by Robu, their AI, who were sent to planet Earth with a mission to study more about human species and collect their intelligence. They end up teaming up with a cute donkey named Sundar and begin their adventurous trips across the planet facing various difficult situations, which they overcome using their common sense and presence of mind.
Along with these original homegrown shows, they will also be broadcasting moral stories, mythological stories, stories of great personalities and will also have info, edutainment and preschool content with a vast library of films.
Other shows include Kong: King of the Apes and Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. Kong is an action-adventure series about Kong who is saved as a young ape by a young boy, Lucas. Lucas and his family raise Kong but Lucas’s twin brother, Richard is jealous and tries to get rid of Kong. After an incident, the twins became distanced both physically and emotionally. The story then revolves around how even after 10 years Richard feels extreme hatred towards both Lukas and Kong. Pac-Man is a comedy-adventure series that takes place in and around the planet Pac-World as well as its Nether-World. It features Pac and his friends embarking on an adventure and heroism busting ghosts and stopping Betrayus from conquering Pac-World.
“Such a variety is not seen in any other channels. There will be no repetitive mundane content. All our shows are fresh for kids,” said a proud Roy. She further mentioned, “The big show Bal Bahubali and Padeji Pahelwan and many more are to be released shortly.”
The channel intends to broadcast eight to 10 homegrown animated shows in a year. For now, there won’t be any live-action show. While selecting animated projects to air, Roy said that they look for content which is exclusive, unique, close to children’s heart, safe and entertaining.
To promote the new channel, newspaper ads, cross channel promotions and vastly social media will be adopted initially.
While there has been a rise in OTT platforms, ETV is yet to venture in that space. When asked if ETV will also be launching its own digital platform, an optimistic Roy said, “Yes, soon.”
Wishing ETV Bal Bharat’s team all the best for the launch.