Disney to target tweeners with live action, local acquisitions

MUMBAI: The tweener (10 - 14 years) audience segment is currently underserved by the kids' channels in India. Or so feels Walt Disney Television International (India) director programming and production Nachiket Pantvaidya.

In order to cater more to this segment and expand the overall kids market in India, the Disney Channel is planning to pump up its live action programming. And it is also looking at local acquisitions to support this strategy.

The channel is strong among pre-school and family audiences. "Our movies have family appeal. Besides, we have premium quality preschool content," he says.

According to Pantvaidya, 84 per cent of kids are on GECs (general entertainment channels) while only 16 per cent of them were on kids channels. "Before the entry of the new kids channels in India, this percentage ratio of kids' viewing was 90:10. There has been a shift in kids viewing because of the wide range of options that are today available to them. I feel that the 16 per cent number has the potential of touching 30 per cent or as high as even 40 per cent in two years' time," he says. Driving this growth will be live action programming, he adds.

Disney Channel is also expanding its preschool band from 1 November by an additional nine hours. The channel will have nine hours of preschool programming on weekdays from 7 am - 3 pm and from 8 am - 10 am (two hours) on Saturdays and Sundays. That makes it 44 hours of preschool programming in a week. At present the Disney Channel has 35 hours of preschool programming in a week, which is aired on weekdays from 8 am - 3 pm.

Cartoon Network and Pogo, on the other hand, have a combined offering of 11-12 hours a day of preschool content. Nick has a preschool block called Nick Jr.

Toon Disney, Pantvaidya feels, has a potent mix with action programming like Spiderman and strong franchisees like Mickey Mouse.


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