Not child's play

Zee Entertainment’s first big launch in four years is a kiddie channel. Will it help the network regain lost ground?

Like his father, Punit Goenka also likes to pepper his conversation with pithy Hindi sayings. Now, the Zee Entertainment managing director says wryly, “Doodh ka jala chaas bhi phoonk ke peeta hain [once bitten, twice shy],” to explain why the network waited four years for its next big launch after its youth entertainment offering ZeeNext flopped. The trouble with ZeeNext, Goenka says, was that the company “failed to understand that youth behave differently and it is difficult to pin them down with conventional story lines”. Now, the Subhash Chandra-promoted media company’s back with a high-decibel launch, of India’s first edutainment channel, ZeeQ, aimed at children between four and 14 years. And the earlier failure seems forgotten as Goenka talks about his ambitious target for this new channel.