'2006 will see us as a true lifestyle brand, continuing to provide the best in entertainment' : Anshuman Misra - Turner Intl. India Pvt. Ltd managing director

A decade milestone crossed, Turner International's kids channel Cartoon Network is gearing up for the next 10! More competition in the space or not... the channel is gearing up to aggressively hold on to its number one slot in the genre. And Pogo is growing up, as a strong second channel.

In this interview with's Hetal Adesara, Turner International India Pvt. LTD managing director Anshuman Misra speaks about the company's strategies to retain leadership and how integration and innovation is the key to becoming a successful kids' network.


Cartoon Network has enjoyed monopoly in the Indian market ever since its launch. But the two Disney channels and Hungama TV have gained some market share last year and even Nick has aggressive plans in 2006. Given this scenario, what is the programming, marketing and promotional efforts the network is making in order to retain its leadership position in the market in which it hitherto had no competition?

As the leader and champion of the kids' genre in India, we are extremely happy and satisfied that other networks are finally seeing the potential we saw in the genre 10 years ago.

A multi-player market is great as it keeps us thinking and only adds to our innovation and growth and more importantly, offers choice to the consumer. As an international player, such a competitive environment is something we are used to dealing with across the globe. However, it is important to note that the position we enjoy today in India is the same as we did 10 years ago - we are the number one kids' channel in India!

We seriously don't believe in shifting or changing strategies to accommodate/combat other networks. As an established leader in the kids' television genre, 10 years in India has taught us that it is necessary to innovate, invest, evolve, and understand the environment in which one is operating.

Most importantly, we are dealing with one of the most intelligent consumers - KIDS, and LISTENING to them has been the key to our success. Therefore, what we have achieved over the last decade, be it launching a new channel Pogo; holding multi-city signature consumer events like Toon Cricket, Toon Games, Toon Yatra; acknowledging the amazing kids' of India through Pogo Amazing Kids' Awards, Join The Powerpuff Generation; conducting comprehensive researches like Straight From The Experts, New Generations; acquiring, producing and commissioning the best available animated and live action content like The Powerpuff Girls, Sesame India, M.A.D, Bam! Bam! Bam! Gir Pade Hum…,Ramayan The Legend Of Prince Ram, Make Way For Noddy, Bob The Builder, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets, Beyblade etc; or ensuring that our content is available across various platforms through promotional licensing, products - is all part of a larger game plan and mission statement.

With the coming in of so many kids channels in India, do you think that the market has grown or is it just that the new players are eating into the shares of the existing players?

As I mentioned earlier, competition is healthy and important as it offers choice to the consumer, forces the existing players to work hard and provide quality entertainment.

Fragmentation is a reality but at the same time, so is growth. The kids' genre is definitely very important today but it is also in its nascent stages in India. There is a lot of scope for growth and innovation - a key reason that both Cartoon Network and Pogo are constantly working round the clock to ensure there is a novelty factor in whatever we do.

The Indian pie is currently still growing, allowing multiple players to co-exist. But I firmly believe that premium, quality content that is intelligently programmed will be the key differentiator. However, we also believe that entry of serious players will help Turner in its pioneering mission to grow the kids' space and ultimately help Cartoon Network and Pogo, the clear leaders, to grow even further.

What according to you is the way forward for kids' channels to survive in the competitive market?

Quiet simply iconic characters like Tom & Jerry, Scooby-Doo, The Powerpuff Girls; innovation such as the Tom & Jerry ad for All-Out; quality programming that is a fine balance between international and local programming such as M.A.D, Bam! Bam! Bam! Gir Pade Hum…, Ramayan, Pandavas, Tenali Raman, Chhota Birbal, Vikram Betal, Beyblade, Harry Potter, Noddy, Bob The Builder, Thomas The Tank Engine, Sesame Street India; timely responses and brand extensions like establishing your characters as great brand ambassadors through promotional licensingand branded products.

Integration of all of the above, keeping the viewer and content in mind is the key to a successful kids' network.

'We seriously don't believe in shifting or changing strategies to accommodate or combat other networks'

What is Turner's India strategy for Cartoon Network in India?

We are the vanguards of the kids' segment in India and have been for the past decade and hope to continue to be the number one choice of Indian kids!

What have been the landmarks for Cartoon Network in its 10 year run in India?

Ten years is a long time for a channel to sustain and retain its leadership, especially when everyday we learn something new at the network. But to highlight the key ones, the first was pioneering the genre itself in 1995, when the industry seriously doubted the viability of the venture.

Today, we feel very proud to see the importance the genre now enjoys. The next would be when we recognised and intelligently filled the gap by launching Pogo - which also spurned the growth of this segment.

Another would be when we launched the first specialised programming block for young kids' Tiny TV - thus providing them a safe entertaining and educating destination for this important but then neglected age-group. This also led to change in programming strategies of kids' networks - from just a uniform addressing of 4-14 year olds, today we have programming for pre-schoolers, young teens, family, etc.

Yet another landmark would be our hugely successful localisation strategy, which includes languaging, customisation of events and stunts and most importantly acquisitions of home-grown productions. We were the first international kids' (and for a long while the 'only') channel to provide locally produced animated products a national platform.

Moving on, launching Cartoon Network branded consumer products was a landmark in itself. The other defining moment would be extending Cartoon Network into the everyday life of a kid. You can experience Cartoon Network now without turning on the TV screen. Whether it is consumer products, promotional licensing, online, the bigger better Toon Cricket - we present ourselves as a lifestyle brand. The experience that the child and the family on the whole have is elevated with these efforts.

What is your vision for Cartoon Network in 2006?

Kids' entertainment has come a long way, and we are pleased to have been the key driver in shaping the future of kids' entertainment in India. For 2006, our vision is to provide all-encompassing entertainment options that can be enjoyed by both kids and families alike.

We will continue pushing the boundaries and redefine kids' entertainment by going beyond the confines of a television set that include venues, events, merchandise, etc. 2006 will see us as a true Lifestyle brand, continuing to provide the best in entertainment!

How do you see the kids' space panning out in India in the next year? Any key changes you foresee…

As my colleague Ian (Diamond) says, "One can only consider the future, not predict it." Going by this, I seriously think that the future for the kids' segment is extremely bright, the genre will witness healthy growth - especially with Turner launching the localised version of Sesame Street.

However, I strongly feel that premium quality content, innovation and experience will continue to be the key differentiators and benchmarks for success.

Latest Reads
MTV associates with Brave Combat Federation for 'Brave 20'

MTV, India’s youth brand, is all set to bring the fight series MTV Brave 20 in association with the Brave Combat Federation presented by Mercury Sports Entertainment on 17 February at 9 pm.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Q3 2019: BAG Films Television and Radio Dhaamal profits up

The Anurradha Prasad-led BAG Films and Media Ltd (BAG Films) reported 38.1 per cent higher year-on-year (y-o-y) consolidated revenue for the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q3- 019, period or quarter, under review) at Rs 48.67 crore as compared to Rs 33.94 crore in the corresponding prior year...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Comcast, Sony in the running for ZEEL stake?

In the latest financial results, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) MD and CEO Punit Goenka mentioned that the company has narrowed down its search for a partner to divest up to 50 per cent stake in the company, an announcement it made in November 2018.

Television TV Channels GECs
9X Jalwa launches Jalwa #10YEARCHALLENGE

MUMBAI: 9X Jalwa, the Bollywood hits music channel by 9X Media, has created Jalwa #10YEARCHALLENGE, a unique property that showcases the songs of Bollywood stars from past to present. Jalwa #10YEARCHALLENGE will feature stars such as Aamir Khan, Aishwariya Rai, Kajol, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan,...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
CNN meets the young Lionel Messi fan from Afghanistan who is now a Taliban target

In January 2016, a photo of young Murtaza Ahmadi went viral, thanks to his makeshift version of an Argentine football shirt of his idol Lionel Messi. The photo earned the child two autographed shirts, a signed football and a meeting with the footballer in Qatar 11 months later.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
BARC to share TV viewership data only with subscribers due to TRAI tariff order implementation

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has announced it will only share the weekly TV viewership data with those that have subscribed to its service. The audience measurement firm has taken this decision in light of the TRAI’s new tariff order, which kicked in on February 1.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Republic Bharat has made a smashing entry into the Hindi News genre

The Week 1 performance means that in just 7 days Republic Bharat has made tremendous inroads and on boarded audiences that some established brands have taken many years to reach.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
ISSF signs deal with SPN India for rifle and pistol World Cup broadcast

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has signed a deal with Sony Pictures Network India to broadcast the World Cup, according to the Press Trust of India. The sport of shooting will have live television coverage of the World Cup Rifle/Pistol at Dr Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad from...

Television TV Channels Sports
Broadcasters split over rising production cost of GEC content

The rise in over the top (OTT) platforms has also led broadcasters and production houses to drive up the investment into its TV shows. The same companies are now even producing for both TV and digital.

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories