Nov 27, 2008

Entertainment - India;Cartoon Network, Hungama emerge leaders among kids’ channels

Swapna Rahul Shah

The kids’ channels have been mostly spared the vagaries of wild fluctuations. TAM Media Research shows that for weeks 1 to 46 for the C&S 4-14 in the all market, Cartoon Network is still the leader. Weeks 1 to 30 saw a close fight between Pogo and Hungama for the second slot, with Pogo becoming the No. 1 player in the kid’s genre from week 30 onwards. The fight then shifts to Hungama and Nick competing closely for the third position. Weeks 1 to 20 see a close fight between Nick and Jetix for the fourth position, however, from week 20 onwards, Nick moves up, while Jetix drops.

The trend in Hindi speaking market sees Hungama leading from weeks 1 to 30. From week 30 onwards, Hungama sees a downturn and there is a close contest see between Cartoon Network and Nick for the No. 1 position. From week 44, Cartoon Network emerges as the leader, while Nick, Hungama and Pogo fight it out for the second position.

Jetix and Disney Channel have failed to get adequate market share. It may be noted that Hungama, Disney Channel and Jetix are sister companies, while Hungama is doing very well, Jetix and Disney Channel have fallen behind.

Speaking on the trend, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Vice President & General Manager, Nick India, said, “If you look at the numbers in September and October, Nick has clearly been ahead of Hungama, we have been a clear No. 2 all the way. In September, our market share was 22 and in October it was 24, as compared to Hungama’s 21 and 20, respectively. The gap between Nick and Hungama was close earlier, but not anymore. In fact, the gap is widening week on week.”

She added, “In terms of initiatives and on-ground activities, all our efforts are 360-degree initiatives. Our continuous offerings in terms of interactivity, contests and promotions, stunts and marathons and our endearing characters like Ninja, Perman and SpongeBoB continue to engage the existing viewers and enhance our time spent. Therefore, all our initiatives off and on air, above and below the line, connect with kids wherever they are.”

Meanwhile, Nick has lined up new content like Tricky TV and Finzoni Circus. It has also embarked on an extensive marketing campaign for Toon Jockey, reaching out to more than 40 cities across the country through initiatives like a robust TV plan, radio, outdoor, out-of-home (McDonalds), comic books and partnerships with Westside and PVR.

The standoff between the Federation of Western India Cine Workers (FWICE) and the producers, which incidentally was resolved recently, saw audiences shifting alliances to sports and movie channels in the absence of fresh programming on Hindi GECs. When exchange4media asked industry experts whether there was a shift in advertisers from GECs to kids’ channels, they replied in the negative.

Jaipuria said, “There was an understanding between the ISA and the IBF of not pulling out their ads from GECs. There has been no shift so far, but we could see a positive impact if the strike prolongs beyond the 21st.”

She further maintained, “Despite the economic downturn, Nick has managed to increase its rates because of the excellent channel performance and efficiencies, and, therefore, there have been no adverse effects of the slowdown. Nick is in the position to command a higher rate that matches its deliveries.”

On the other hand, Monica Tata, Vice - President and Deputy General Manager – Entertainment Networks, South Asia, Turner International India, said, “It is too early to comment on numbers. Our networks (Cartoon Network and Pogo) continue to see steady business from non-traditional advertisers.”

At the time of filing story, officials from Walt Disney were not available to comment on Disney Channel, Jetix and Hungama TV.

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