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NEW DELHI: Bluey, a super-hit animated series from Australia, will premiere in India on CBeebies, the free-to-air children's television channel owned and operated by the BBC Network, starting 14 June. The show is aimed at pre-school children and their parents and originally airs on ABC Kids Australia. It has been jointly commissioned by BBC Studios and ABC and is distributed by BBC Studios outside of Australia.

In a statement, Henrietta Hurford-Jones, executive producer for Bluey and director of children’s content partnerships at BBC Studios, said she was confident that the series will win over hearts of families in India.

With children confined indoor amid the pandemic-induced lockdowns, TV channels and streaming platforms have begun to see more value in animation and kids’ content.

About 60% of Netflix’s members globally choose to watch kids and family content every month, with the animation segment growing 10% in India in 2020. While many OTT players were so far banking on television content they had acquired over time, some are now investing in originals.

"Spurred by the lockdown, kids’ viewership went up significantly in 2020 over 2019. While children were eager to seek new content, parents seeking to keep their kids engaged were looking for enriching, value-driven programming," Megha Tata, managing director, south Asia – Discovery, Inc., had said in an interview to Mint earlier. The company’s streaming service discovery+ introduced a genre devoted to kids content this February.

A recent study conducted by discovery+ with a group of parents and children said showed that while parents were concerned about screen time, they were open to it as long as the content was educative and encouraged creativity, Tata added. discovery+, that premiered a movie Kaal Ki Shatir Chaal from the Little Singham franchise, is bringing out a mix of edutainment (Chopped Junior) and informative (How Do They Do it and MythBusters Jr) titles for children along with programmes that hold nostalgic value for millennial parents, especially those who have grown up consuming edutainment content on the Discovery TV channel. Apart from discovery+, even VOOT, the OTT service owned by Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd, has a segment devoted to kids.

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