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Sunday, June 16, 2013

ZeeQ to bring back CBeebies

This story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Wednesday, Jun 5, 2013.

BBC Worldwide is set to re-enter the pre-school edutainment broadcasting in India. The main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has inked an agreement with Zee Group’s edutainment channel ZeeQ to broadcast content from its pre-school brand CBeebies.

ZeeQ is India’s only edutainment channel for kids in the age group of 4-14 years. On the other hand, CBeebies is a pre-school brand aimed at children aged six years and below.

Subhadarshi Tripathy, business head, ZeeQ, said the CBeebies content is very relevant for ZeeQ considering the channels also follow the same principals in selecting and producing content.

“The arrangement is not only getting the content on to our channel, but also having CBeebies as a band on ZeeQ,” said Tripathy.

The CBeebies brand will launch on the ZeeQ channel starting July 1, 2013. Currently, ZeeQ is available on Dish TV and Videocon d2h in addition to all the leading multi-system operators across the country.

Tripathy said that ZeeQ pays for the content with BBC Worldwide while handling the air-time sales. “This we will do in agreement with BBC Worldwide following a set of dos and don’ts as prescribed by them,” he said.

Myleeta Aga, senior vice-president and general manager - India and content head -  Asia, BBC Worldwide, said that partnering with ZeeQ brings CBeebies’ favourite programmes back to Indian TV screens.

“The CBeebies time band on ZeeQ is just the beginning of our partnership. We look forward to working with Zee to continue to bring popular and award-winning CBeebies programmes to ZeeQ,” said Aga.

Calling it a long-term association, ZeeQ officials said that this license agreement will see CBeebies programmes – Teletubbies, 3rd & Bird and Charlie and Lola – being aired on ZeeQ from Mondays to Thursdays for an hour (between 9:30 am and 10.30 am), with a two-hour repeat telecast on weekends (between 11.00 am  and 1.00 pm).

The association will help ZeeQ tap the pre-school segment (0-3 years) as well and strengthen its current portfolio of programmes.

The channel currently airs a mix of live action and animated shows. Some of its prominent shows include Teenovation, Science with BrainCafe, Amar Chitra Katha Heroes, Sid the Science Kid, The Weekly Wrap and Word Match.

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