's Kidology
Sun's Chutti TV shines in Tamil kid's market
(20 June 2007 5:00 pm)

MUMBAI: The action in the Southern kids television market has only started heating up as Sun Network's first offering in this genre has ushered in a change.

While Sun's Tamil kids channel Chutti TV is still testing waters, it has kicked off on a good note in Tamil Nadu and has catalyzed the kids television universe to expand.

Speaking to, Chutti TV programming head Priya Madhusudan explained that the swell in viewership has been generated by a combination of urban audiences and the masses. "The performance of the channel has exceeded all our expectations. The programming has been specifically customized for this geographic area and encourages a lot of family viewing."

The channel is being sampled by new and existing users. Both the number and usage among viewers has increased, resulting in a more enhanced market," she adds.

Sun claims to not only corner the largest pie among the kids TV players, but also says it has overthrown other mainstream channels in this locale. The impact of its entry in this region is already being felt and all this in a span of six weeks!

TamPeoplemeter System - Relative Share (%)
Channel Week 18 (29 April -5 May) Week 19 (6-12 May) Week 20 (13-19 May) Week 21 (20-26 May) Week 22 (27 May-02 June) Week 23 (3-9 June)
Cartoon Network
Toon Disney
Chutti TV
(Tamil Nadu, CS 4-14 yrs, Week 18, 2007 - Week 22, 2007)

According to Tam data, in its opening week Chutti TV clocked a relative channel share of 53 per cent as opposed to Southern leader in kid's television Disney's Jetix channel (previously called Toon Disney) that got 26 per cent (C&S 4-14 yrs, Tamil Nadu 1-1 mn & 1 mn + towns, Week 18, 29 April -5 May).

Chutti TV also claims to have outdone other regional channels during its first week of launch, beating Vijay TV, Jaya TV and Raj TV, and settling into third position only after Sun TV and KTV in the first two spots.

To solely provide a Southern picture of the television market from the Tamil perspective may be unfair to other players that have established leadership in the region. But what is worth noting is the magnanimity of the response that the channel has garnered across the Tamil space.

In the kid's genre, the channel has been delivering week on week channel shares that have far exceeded the second contender in this space Jetix (Toon Disney). Could this be a wake up call for Disney that has governed kids TV in the South, a task unaccomplished by them in the Hindi speaking markets?

Well, Jetix has maintained a stronghold over the Southern terrain since its entry in 2004 with its Tamil and Telegu localization strategy, but the challenge will surely appear as Chutti TV's siblings in Telugu, Kananda and Malayalam roll out this year.

Need Disney be worried? The Walt Disney Television International (India) director marketing and communications Tushar Shah opines, "We have always done very well in the South and our localization efforts through language and programming have delivered for us. We will continue to invest in marketing and programming initiatives specific to the region as we continue to enjoy popularity here."

Chutti TV marked an all time high during the week 13 -19 May with a whooping 70 per cent share. The channel has eaten into the pie of other challengers like Jetix (Toon Disney) with 15 per cent, Pogo 10 per cent and Cartoon Network 5 per cent (Tam Week 20, CS 4-14 yrs, Tamil Nadu 1-1 mn & 1 mn +). Of course, this is not reflective of the monopoly enjoyed by the Turner pair Cartoon Network and Pogo in the Hindi speaking belt.

With a timely launch during the summer vacations of April and May, Chutti TV has not only grabbed its audience but has succeeded so far in its consistency. From 21 to 28 May the channel ran an on air contest 'Kutty TV Poti' that generated a response of 30, 00, 000 entries, and awarded 1000 winners from both rural and urban areas.

On the programming mix, there has been a deliberate choice in terms selecting only locally produced live action shows in addition to action cartoons. The channel has property's from animated series like He Man and Men in Black to in-house live action productions like Chutti Looti and Kuttis Kitchen. As a rule, the channel has avoided using internationally acquired live action shows dubbed in Tamil.

Serial no.
Date & Day
Top Programs
6/9/2007 Sat HE MAN AND THE MASTERS 5.89
6/5/2007 Tue CHUTTI CHALLENGE 4.73
6/7/2007 Thu HE MAN AND THE MASTERS 4.39
6/3/2007 Sun GODZILLA 4.27
6/3/2007 Sun KUTTIS KITCHEN 4.24
6/5/2007 Tue BANDOLERO 4.23
6/3/2007 Sun STUNT DAWGS 4.19
6/3/2007 Sun MIB-MEN IN BLACK 4.14
6/9/2007 Sat BUMBA 3.97
(Tam Peoplemeter System, Week 23, 3-9 June, TN, CS 4-14 yrs)

What's interesting is that an overview of Tam's recent top ten shows in the kid's space for Tamil Nadu for the period 3 to 9 May, point in the direction of Chutti TV. Even the Disney action property that has been dominating the South, Jetix's Power Rangers is not in the picture. Leading the band wagon is Avatar - The Last Airbender with a TVR of 6.3 per cent, followed by He Man and the Masters with 5.8 per cent and Chutti Challenge is 4.73 per cent.

Sun's channel could have been helped by its brand power in the state of Tamil Nadu and the cable TV clout it enjoys, an industry observer says.

With Sun Networks foray into the kid's television space, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Data suggests that the market has room for more players and Sun surely looks geared for the challenge. In fact, the end of the year is likely to see a regional consolidation of Sun's kids offerings. Unless, of course, rival channels pace up to meet the onslaught.

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