Hungama topples Nick to become No. 1 in HSM

MUMBAI: After stability at the top for four months, there is disruption again. Hungama TV, the kids channel acquired by Disney, has knocked out Nick from the top spot in the Hindi speaking market (HSM).

According to the latest Tam data (C&S 4-14, HSM), the ‘mad‘ comedy channel has added eight points to pocket 119 GRPs for the week ended 22 August. Nick, on the other hand, has tumbled 15 points to end the week with 99 GRPs.

Ever since late April, Nick has been sitting at the top in the Hindi belt after dislodging market leader Cartoon Network, barring one week (ended 10 May) when Hungama TV raced ahead.

Hungama, which was dislodged from its leadership position by Cartoon Network in August 2008, has ended with a channel share of 26 per cent for the week ended 22 August. Nick has lost two grades to enjoy a channel share of 21 per cent.

So what has helped Hungama rebound in the HSM space?

"A strong positioning effort around the mad fun spirit," says Walt Disney Television International India senior vice president and managing director Antoine Villeneuve. "This has been supported by a lot of on-air initiatives like for instance the introduction of the programming bands which are extremely popular with kids (Fun Gas, Trouble Soda and Dum Powder), by the presence of Hungama stars (Shin Chan, Doraemon and Kiteretsu) and bolstered with a programming grid which follows the kids habits and tastes."

So does Hungama‘s win in the HSM market pose a threat to Nick‘s position at the top?

Counters Nick India SVP and GM Nina Elavia Jaipuria, "Not really. We are more of a proactive than a reactive channel. The kids‘ space is getting dynamic by the day and with new leaders, it only gives rise to more healthy competition. Today viewers are king and it is a challenge for us to create and maintain space in their minds."

Cartoon Network, the All-India market leader, is now at the third spot in the HSM space, commanding a share of 93 GRPs for the week. The channel, however, continues to maintain an average channel share of 20 per cent.

Interestingly, in the All-India market, Cartoon Network is sharing its leadership position with Hungama with a GRP of 87 and a channel share of 22 for the week ended 22 August.

But Turner is not disturbed at what it calls aberrations. Explains Turner International India VP and deputy general manager - entertainment networks Suth Asia Monica Tata, "Turner‘s long term vision and strategy for India has paid rich dividends making Cartoon Network and Pogo the most viewed and loved brands amongst kids in India. Not only kids, but parents too give the highest endorsement to these two networks as their choice networks for kids (per new generations 2008). Besides, we also enjoy the lion‘s share of the advertising pie. Increased competition has not outstayed us from our leadership position in the last 13 years and that‘s a merit / result of our focus on the long-term rather than short-term measures and gains and a proof that we know and service our consumers best amongst all."

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