WarnerMedia-owned kids television channel POGO has partnered with public service broadcaster Doordarshan to simulcast its popular animation show Chhota Bheem on DD National.
First premiered in 2008, the show that revolves around a young boy called Bheem in a small town in India will be available for a half-hour telecast every afternoon on DD till the end of the covid-19 lockdown on 3 May.
Doordarshan, which has emerged as the most watched TV channel in India since the covid-19 lockdown, has so far been airing its own old hits, including mythological epics Ramayana and Mahabharat, historical dramas Chanakya and Upanishad Ganga, superhero series Shaktimaan featuring Mukesh Khanna, Shrimaan Shrimati, a comedy starring Reema Lagoo, Rakesh Bedi and Jatin Kanakia, Shah Rukh Khan’s Circus, detective show Byomkesh Bakshi, drama show Hum Hain Na and sitcoms Tu Tota Main Maina and Dekh Bhai Dekh.
“Doordarshan is pleased to partner with POGO to simulcast Chhota Bheem on DD National. Chhota Bheem is one of children’s most favourite cartoon characters, and we are delighted to bring him on our channel to entertain our young viewers,” Prasar Bharti CEO, Shashi Shekhar Vempati, said in a statement.
Chhota Bheem is currently available on American streaming platform Netflix. In fact, its spin-off Mighty Little Bheem, created by the same producers, Green Gold Animation, is one of Netflix’s biggest success stories from India, and globally the most-watched preschool show on the platform. It is also the second most-watched children’s original series (across all categories and age groups among children) after Boss Baby: Back in Business. A major chunk of MLB’s viewing has happened outside India, across Netflix regions, including Colombia, Argentina, Chile and the US. In fact, about 27 million homes outside India have watched Mighty Little Bheem, Netflix has said.
Media industry experts emphasize that while the lockdown has forced the country to stay at home with much time on hand, not everyone can afford or access video streaming platforms. Television remains a major draw, as evident in the spike in viewership since mid-March. That possibly explains the airing of shows like Chhota Bheem on the widely accessed small screen.
“These are challenging times and we believe that POGO’s fun-filled, relatable content will keep kids engaged and entertained. We are very pleased to collaborate with a platform as distinguished and popular as Doordarshan. The agreement ensures that an even larger number of young viewers across the country will be able to enjoy Chhota Bheem, one of our most prominent shows,” Siddharth Jain, managing director of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks in South Asia said in a statement.