Television

Toon Disney gearing up to take on Cartoon Network

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MUMBAI: Going local is surely the way forward for kids channels. Or so says Toon Disney's report card after the channel went Hindi from 1 September. Moreover, buoyed by the way the channel is growing in the South, Toon Disney is now looking at replicating the success in the North too, thus providing some stiff competition to runaway market leaders Cartoon Network and Pogo.

Going by Tam data prior to and post the Hindi launch, Toon Disney's relative channel share and gross rating points (GRPs) have more than doubled. The channel now stands in the third spot among all kids' channels in the C&S 4-14 years all India market as of week 47 (mid-November). Prior to the Hindi launch, it was in the fifth position after Cartoon Network, Pogo, Disney Channel and Hungama TV (in that order).

In fact, Toon Disney is the only kids' channel that has shown a sizable leap in numbers from September to mid-November. As per Tam data, Toon Disney's reach has been increasing by almost 18 per cent each month.

In week 35 (August-end), the relative channel share of Toon Disney was 7 per cent and consistently increased to touch 16 per cent in week 47 in the C&S 4-14 years all India market, according to Tam data.

So, while Cartoon Network continues to reign supreme in the kids' space with a relative channel share of 36 per cent, Pogo is close behind with 21 per cent in week 47 in the C&S 4-14 years all India market, according to Tam. On the other hand, Disney Channel, which was in the No 3 spot in week 35, has given way to its sibling Toon Disney, and now occupies the fourth spot with a relative channel share of 12 per cent in week 47.

The shares of Hungama TV and Nick have also shown some increase. While Hungama TV's channel share went up from 10 per cent in week 35 to 12 per cent in week 47; that of Nick went up from 3 per cent to 4 per cent in the above mentioned time frame.

If one moves down South, where only Toon Disney has a dedicated Tamil and Telugu language feed; Toon Disney shows have made it to the Top 10 shows; hence breaking Cartoon Network's monopoly.

While the Top 3 shows are dominated by Cartoon Network; Toon Disney shows - Power Rangers Wild Force and Mickey Mouse and Friends were fourth and fifth in line in the C&S 4-14 years South market in the period 23 October to 19 November 2005 according to Tam. On the other hand, Toon Disney's Power Rangers Dino Thunder also made it to Top 10 shows in the South.

Walt Disney International Television (India) programming director Nachiket Pantvaidya informs that last week, Power Rangers on Toon Disney was the number one show in the South and managed to beat the market leader.

According to Pantvaidya, the next six-eight months are critical as the network looks to replicate the South success of Toon Disney in the North too. "Toon Disney has now become a challenger brand and last week's performance of Power Rangers speaks for itself. The two reasons that contributed to this success are that we invested in our language feeds and secondly, we gave our entire promotions thrust to the Power Rangers property and that has now borne fruit. We have focussed 70 per cent of our airtime on Power Rangers. It is the number one horse in our stable, which will topple Cartoon Network in days to come," says an upbeat Pantvaidya.

Toon Disney's GRPs too have witnessed a significant rise. While in week 35, the channel had GRPs of 19.0; it touched 54.3 in week 47 in the C&S 4-14 years all India market, according to Tam data.

Moving on, if one had to look at the top 10 shows on kids channels at the all India level, it is Cartoon Network shows that rules the roost in the period 23 October to 19 November 2005. The following shows are the ones, which are catching the kids' fancy -- Tom & Jerry, Cartoon Network Diwali Dhamaal Movie - Rama, Richie Rich, Tom & Jerry Kids, Toonami-Pokemon, Bob The Builder, Dragon Tales and What's New Scooby Doo.

But going by the way Toon Disney is fast climbing up the popularity ladder, complacency is not something that Cartoon Network and Pogo can afford. So expect a riposte from them sooner rather than later.

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