After Tamil & Telugu, Toon Disney goes Hindi from 1 September

MUMBAI: Following the launch of Toon Disney in Tamil and Telugu, Walt Disney Television International (India) is now launching the channel with 24 hours of Hindi feed from 1 September.

The 24 Hindi feed channel is being launched keeping in mind the company's commitment to localisation. In fact, India is the first market in the Asia Pacific region to introduce a Toon Disney channel in December last year. The channel was launched in three languages - English, Tamil and Telugu.

"With the launch of the 24 hour Toon Disney feed, we are completing the localisation of the Disney brand in India. There is very little age appropriate animation available in the kids space in India and we feel that Toon Disney will serve that need gap," said Walt Disney Television International (India) managing director Rajat Jain.

"As the world leader in kids and family entertainment, we have a tremendous responsibility to India's vast and diverse TV viewing population. It was clear at the launch that we needed to launch a 24 hour Hindi Toon Disney to cater to the under-served kids television needs of audiences across the country. Audience response to Toon Disney in the South (in Tamil and Telugu feeds) further encouraged us to launch the Hindi feed in less than nine months of our launch," said Jain.

Throwing some data, Jain said that current television viewing data reveals that approximately 17 per cent of kids in the age group 4 - 14 years in the Hindi speaking market (HSM) view children's television and spend 10 times as much time on general entertainment channels (GECs). With 5400 episodes dubbed across Hindi, Tamil and Telugu for year one and close to 1800 episodes in Hindi alone, Toon Disney will significantly enhance age-appropriate viewing options for kids who prefer watching in regional channels.

"There are 350 million kids in India below the age of 14 and a further 100 million pre-school kids below the age of four. It is a huge market, which is dramatically under-served," said Jain.

The company will be pushing the Hindi feed Toon Disney with a vigorous marketing effort through an outdoor, online and print campaign. Direct mailers to the media fraternity will be sent out to generate awareness, apart from ads in cable and trade magazines. "The 360 degree marketing campaign around Toon Disney is being undertaken to create viewer and trade touch points. The festive season is approaching and it is a time of huge activity in the media and television industry. We feel it is the right time to launch Toon Disney in Hindi," said Jain.

He also stressed on the fact that the Tamil and Telugu Toon Disney channels in the South were a huge success citing that 18 out of the Top 50 kids shows in the South were on Toon Disney last week. Apart from that, kids in the South also spent the most amount of time on the channel, when compared to other channels.

As per Tam data for the first 30 weeks of 2005, age group 4 - 14 years all India market, the channel share of Toon Disney was 2.5 per cent. Whereas the market leader continues to be Cartoon Network with a share of 55.6 per cent. The Disney Channel on the other hand, enjoyed a channel share of 6.2 per cent.

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