Kids broadcasters see moolah in home video

MUMBAI: The home entertainment market seems to be the next moolah generating pie for kids‘ broadcasters in India.

Cartoon Network is planning to venture into the home video market within two months, a space occupied only by Walt Disney. Nick is also readying its entry and will be tying up with Excel Home Entertainment to launch its top-rated properties like Dora and Spongebob into the home video market.

"We are currently in talks with major distributors and plan to enter the home video market in the next two months," says Cartoon Network Enterprises VP - Asia Pacific Dulce Lim-Chen, while refusing to divulge further details.

Disney Channel is already active in this space with its various television series. It recently launched Disney Fairies, a new category to only cater to the home vide market. The first to role out under this category was Tinkerbell.

Kids broadcasters believe that with the emergence of more players in the home entertainment category and with an increase in kids‘ content, the home video segment is poised for growth."It is not only a potential revenue stream for the content providers in the form of royalties, but also helps in enhancing engagement with the target group outside the television viewing hours," says Viacom18 Media VP-consumer products Sandeep Dahiya.
Excel Home Video managing director MN Kapasi feels that kids TV content on home video is still an insignificant market, but it helps in the brand-building process of any kids‘ channel.

Cartoon Network is also exploring other revenue opportunities in India. Its consumer products division, Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE), will be entering into publishing and console gaming.CNE has set up an in-house publishing division to extend Cartoon Network content into print form. "Until now we had been partnering with various publishers worldwide to develop stories on print that were based on our characters. But now that we see a lot of potential in this segment, we have decided to extend this content into print. As part of this new initiative, we will be launching 150 books by the year-end," says Lim-Chen.
As part of its 2009 plan, CNE will also establish Gwen (female character from Ben 10) to build its merchandise portfolio.

"Apart from the new businesses, we will be further expanding our presence in India through promotional licensing, food and beverages and personal care products," Lim-Chen says.

CNE is expecting a 25-35 per cent growth in its revenues from licensing and merchandising this year, adds Lim-Chen.

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