Television

Cartoon Network sees localisation as key to its fortunes

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Continuing its push to localise content for India, kids' channel Cartoon Network is looking at acquiring the television rights to more properties similar to its recent aquisitions of two animation films: Pandavas - The Five Warriors and Sinbad - Beyond The Veil of Mists. Produced by Chennai-based Pentamedia Graphics Limited, the series had their Indian television premiere on Cartoon Network in September.

"We are in discussions with a number of animation producers in India but nothing has been finalised as yet," Jennifer Fletcher, senior V-P, ad sales, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, said.

Fletcher, who was in Mumbai for a meeting of Turner's ad sales team, spoke to indiantelevision.com on Tuesday. She said it was the localisation effort that dictated the increase in Hindi programming on the channel which currently stands at nine hours a day. For the southern markets, Cartoon Network provides two hours of programming in Tamil.

And emphasising how important India was to Cartoon Network, Fletcher pointed out that 50 per cent of the toon channel's advertising revenues across Asia came from India. Queried as what were the expectations on the ad sales front for the year, Soumitra Saha, VP ad sales, said that even after factoring in inflation, Cartoon Network expected to see a 10 per cent revenue growth this year. Though Saha refused to give any numbers, industry estimates indicate that ad revenues this year will be in the region of Rs 220 million.

Fletcher clarified that there had been no drop in the rates the channel was charging when it was pointed out that with the economy in reverse gear, discounts and bonus spots had become the norm.

Saha said the advertising client base was steadily expanding and pointed to Korean car major Daewoo, software education company NIIT, textbook publishers S Chand, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Killer Jeans as some of the new companies on Cartoon Network.

Saha said the network was looking at customised promotional activities to push the channel. There were many activities organised around important days in the school and college kids' calender like Teacher's Day, Father's Day, Rose Day, etc. he said.

Queried as to what the channel had lined up for Diwali, Saha said a Dream Diwali promotion was currently on which would give 250 kids the chance to meet their favourite toon characters, among other things.

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