Television

Decade milestone crossed, Cartoon Network reinvents itself

MUMBAI: The only thing constant in life, they say, is change. With the kids's channel space in India getting more and more competitive by the day with the likes of Hungama TV and the Disney Channel slowly but surely gaining momentum, the leader in the space - Cartoon Network - is not sitting idle but is looking at ways to reinvent itself.

On the occassion of its 10th anniversary, Cartoon Network has lined up a whole lot of fanfare to lure and at the same time retain its young audiences. New shows, movies, contests, on-ground activities and promotions are what's in store on both Cartoon Network and its sister channel Pogo.

The new snazzy channel identity of Cartoon Network

The first significant change is the change in the channel's on-air identity. Cartoon Network has rung in the next decade with a younger, snazzier supplemental logo, which indicates the channel's next growth phase. The on-air look of the channel has also undergone a significant change.

As far as programming is concerned, the fifth edition of Toon Cricket featuring Mark Waugh and Wasim Akram is what's lined up in December. The 'Tri-Toon Triangular Try Anything Tournament' will have Akram and Waugh hopping on to the field to battle for the trophy.

Toon Cricket 2005 will see the best spinners, batsmen and fielders from the world of toons, kids and international cricket on the field. Two lucky winners of the Toon Cricket 2005 'Apna Yaar' on-air contest will get the opportunity to lead one of the teams in the finals to be held in select cities in December 2005 against Akram and Waugh.

An on-air contest coupled with on-air and off-air promotional campaign featuring Waugh and Akram will precede the extravaganza. Toon Cricket 2005 representatives will visit over 100,000 kids through a 200 school-wide contact program in select cities that will include exciting pre-event activities and prizes.

Kids can also log onto www.cartoonnetworkindia.com for an ?Online Cricketing Championship? and play a selector?s role of putting together a team by clubbing various Toon-turned-cricketers with the two former international players.

Sify will be the internet partner for Toon Cricket 2005 online championship and will give 30 minutes of free gaming time to all walk-ins for playing the online championship. This is applicable to all Sify I-way outlets across the country from 17 October to 1 December, 2005. The kid to score the highest will win a HP Pavilion Desktop and Toon Cricket goodies.

Toon Cricket 2005 ? The Tri-Toon Triangular Try Anything Tournament's has Maggi Noodles and Boost as presenting sponsors and Cheetos, Cadbury?s Chocolates, Funskool Toys, Britannia, Dabur Hajmola Candy and Gini and Jony as the associate sponsors.

In celebration of Diwali, Cartoon Network will premiere seven animated feature films and two Indian features including Balto, Ferngully, Titan A.E, Alvin and The Chipmunks Meet Wolfman, Acceleracers: Breaking Point, Justice League Unlimited: The Movie, Thumbelina, Ramayana and Vikram Betal.

In addition, the Network will premiere the fifth season of Pokemon -- Master Quest as well as the second season of Beyblade V Force.

Cartoon Network's sister channel Pogo, on the other hand also has a slew of new programmes lined up, coming up for the festive season that will culminate with the on-air telecast of the second edition of Pogo Amazing Kids Awards 2005.

Pogo will have new episodes of its locally produced series M.A.D, that was launched in April 2005. For Diwali, a special programming stunt called Diwali Jadoo Mantar that will include five Hollywood mega kid blockbusters has been lined up. These include: Baby?s Day Out, Home Alone, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer?s Stone, Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets and Richie Rich. Both the Harry Potter movies will be available in four languages - namely English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

New shows like Creature Comforts, live action series Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Little Robots on Tiny TV, Woody Woodpecker, and the classic tale by R K Narayan - Malgudi Days have also been lined up on Pogo in October and December.

Turner Entertainment Networks Asia senior vice president and general manager Ian Diamond said, "With the launch of Cartoon Network in 1995, we ventured into unchartered territory and for the last ten years, the channel has set the benchmarks for kids? entertainment in India. The brand has grown by leaps and bounds, on-air and off-air and today, Cartoon Network and its characters have attained an iconic status among young fans, as well as their families across the country. Constantly evolving through in-depth research and updating our knowledge of Indian kids, Cartoon Network today can proudly call itself the resident kids? expert among television channels."

"Cartoon Network and Pogo are the number one and number two channels in the kids? television category in India. Between them, the two networks occupy 75 per cent of kids? channel shares, and of the top 100 program episodes that aired on any kid?s channel this year, 92 were on Cartoon Network and eight were on Pogo. Having been trailblazers in the kids? television segment, we, once again, look forward to another long innings of entertaining our favourite target audience ? Indian kids and their families," added Turner International India Pvt. Ltd managing director Anshuman Misra.

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