Rivals brace for Disney web bows

Kids get to vote for fav Bollywood stars

MUMBAI — As Walt Disney Television Intl. (India) launches its Disney and Toon Disney channels today, rival kidvid players are ready to bribe the ankle-biters for ratings.

Turner’s Cartoon Network affil Pogo is wooing auds with “The Pogo Amazing Kids Awards” — based on Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards — including a category honoring kids with exceptional abilities.

For the first time, the kids will get to vote for their favorite Bollywood stars at the Dec. 24 kudofest.

United Home Entertainment’s Hungama TV, the newcomer on the scene, is carving a niche in smaller towns –TAM Ratings have gone up 3.4 times since its Sept. 26 launch.

Hungama TV recently launched a contest that gives children a chance to win apartments, cars and vacations abroad — all luxuries to which the middle-class Indian viewer aspires.

Animax now speaks Hindi in an effort to reach a larger audience. Indian children will get a daily branded-block of Animax on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) showcasing the best of anime.

The channel also has launched a contest involving children and their schools in which schools with the right answers will meet Animax brand ambassador and cricketer Irfan Pathan.

Nick, which until recently had been written off by industry watchers, has reacted with a plethora of new programs. Many of these are dubbed in Hindi, including the localized animated series “J bole toh Jadoo” (J for Jadoo), based on a character similar to one in 2003 Bollywood “E.T.”-style pic “Koi mil gaya” (Found Someone).

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