Nickelodeon announces break with Zee

MUMBAI: When it finally happened, a terse three-paragraph statement was all that was offered. Viacom kids channel Nickelodeon India today formalised a break that has been speculated about for months now.

From 1 May, Nickelodeon India will cease to be on the Zee Turner Bouquet. Just ahead of that, on 30 April, the Nickelodeon India feed will migrate from AsiaSat-3 satellite to PAS 10, joining sister music channel MTV.


No one in MTV would offer anything beyond what was said in the official release as to what the future implications of this development could be. And certainly not about what the industry believes will happen in due course - MTV and Nickelodeon joining the Sony-Discovery One Alliance platform. One issue that is complicating matters of course is the amount of confusion that is currently swirling around the conditional access rollout.

The message emanating from MTV India at this point is that the two channels will continue to go it alone, independent of any distribution platform.

Nick will reportedly be witnessing a major marketing and programming push over the coming months, the initial impetus for which has been provided by the Nickelodeon Kid Marketing Forum that was held on Wednesday.

For the record these were the comments put out by Nickelodeon and former distribution partner Zee Telefilms:

"Zee has been a great support for Nickelodeon over the past few years. We will continue to have a warm relationship with them," said Alex Kuruvilla, MD, Nickelodeon India.

Dev Naganand, Director Zee Telefilms and chairman Zee-Turner said, "Zee-Turner always valued Nickelodeon as part of its bouquet. Our excellent relationship with Viacom would continue."

Nickelodeon has been on the Zee platform since October 1999, which was when it launched in India. Nickelodeon initially beamed off PAS-4 and has been an encrypted feed from day one, unlike its sister channel MTV India, which only turned digital free-to-air last August.

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