Television

Kids TV channels expect rapid expansion in 2007













MUMBAI: Building on the momentum provided in 2006, the kids genre is expected to scoot at an even faster clip this year.


Backed with experience in the market, these kids entertainers are speaking a ‘lingo‘ that is reaching out to Indian kids. The world of opportunity that this genre has opened its doors to in the last two years, seems to have laid the foundation for a level playing ground. The kids channels market is estimated to be in the region of Rs 1.2 - 1.3 billion and is poised to see 20 - 25 per cent growth year on year.


An analysis of Tam‘s six month kid‘s score card (TG: CS 4-14 Years, Market: All India) provided exclusively to Indiantelevision.com, highlights key developments that the space has experienced. With the entire kid‘s landscape changing, the consolidation of Disney with Hungama TV altered the dynamics, so much that the Turner duo (Cartoon Network and Pogo) were hit hard in the months of October and November 2006, clocking a combined market share of 39 per cent as opposed to Disney‘s 52 per cent (Disney Channel 15 per cent, Toon Disney 16 per cent & Hungama TV 21 per cent).












































































GENRE / CHANNEL

15JULY-15 AUG

15 AUG-15 SEP

15 SEP - 15 OCT

15OCT-15NOV

15NOV-15DEC

15DEC-30DEC

01JAN - 13JAN 07

TG: CS 4-14 Yrs Mkt: All India


Cartoon Network

25

24

24

23

24

26

28

Disney
Channel

11

10

10

15

15

14

14

Toon Disney

18

18

20

16

14

15

13

HungamaTV

17

18

18

21

19

17

15

Nickelodeon

5

7

7

9

10

9

7

Pogo

23

22

20

16

17

19

23
TAM peoplemeter system: Month on Month Genre - wise Relative Channel Shares (%)






Although the ratings from July onwards point to a close battle between the two major players, it seems Hungama TV did the trick that fuelled such a massive jump. Speaking to this website, Hungama TV VP programming and production Aparna Bhosle explains that the upward inclination in ratings was actually kicked off with the seven month Oral B John Aur Kaun on-ground activity. "This was a sure reach builder for us and coupled with word of mouth it managed to get many kid‘s to come onto the channel and even sample our other shows."






Walt Disney Television International (India) executive director production and programming Nachiket Pantvaidya points to a significant finding which sees older children being drawn away from GEC‘s, sports etc. and back to kids channels, a challenge that all these broadcasters are working in collaboration towards. "The period that followed from June and July saw a rapid shift in axis towards a transformation of kids viewing habits. Primarily, two factors brought about this change, mainly older children moving to live action programming and secondly, the growing attraction among the 4-9 year age group towards anime."


Turner International India Pvt. Ltd. VP - advertising sales and networks, India & South Asia Monica Tata attributes the ratings dip in the months of October - November saying, "it is a known fact that the viewing intensity for kids channels peaks in summers and dips during other months."


But come January 2007 and Tam‘s data unlocks revelations that have left all broadcasters (not just kid‘s broadcasters) baffled! The expansion of Tam‘s peoplemeters, coupled with Cas implementation and DTH seems to have thunder struck the newer players in the kid‘s market and elevated Turner to the leadership position. As Tata aptly states, "The combined channel shares of Cartoon Network and Pogo in 2007 equal, if not exceed, the combined channel shares of all the other five kids channels put together."






While others may counter the argument by saying that with over ten years lead time Cartoon Network has obviously penetrated deeper into the Indian hinterland. But then what accounts for Pogo‘s re-entry into the 2007 game, when it is also as old as its other counterparts?


But the dark horse in the game, which is steadily galloping its way upwards, is Nick, Viacom‘s till recently "orphaned" child (at least in India). Nick India VP and GM Nina Jaipuria says, "The challenge for 2007 is to consolidate and drive reach for the channel in India." The data points to an alarming jump, where the channel has doubled its market share from 5 per cent in July-August to 10 per cent November-December 2006. Coinicidently, NDTV Media was roped in during the same period and has not wasted any time in ramping up activity for Nick.






What‘s strange is that for a player that touched Indian soil in 2000 and has been a forerunner in the International space for over two decades, it is only recently eyeing the advantages that the kid‘s market in India has to offer. Nevertheless, it‘s not too late and the channel boasts of being the stickiest channel in the latter half of 2006.


The changing media scenario shaping the consumption patterns of viewers has got media owners biting their nails in anticipation for the next roll out of Tam figures. What seems to indicate a far more accurate measure of channel reach - except for the Turner pair, the others say that they will not totally consider the recent three week Tam findings as it will require a period of about three months to completely settle down and stabilize.


Come what may the kid‘s market is looking promising and according to Pantvaidya the market has grown from 10 to 25 per cent in two years and estimates that 2006-2009 will prove to be the years of expansion in the kid‘s space and of course growth in the ad pie. Disney is of course clear on its ‘localization‘ strategy that lends itself to animation, live action and on-ground events as being the way forward.


With a specific agenda on the cards for each channel, will 2007 witness a bunch of kid‘s quarreling in the sand? Bhosle thinks otherwise, "It‘s rather myopic for players to compete within this small space; the huge fight will be to continue getting kids from other channels onto the kid‘s channels."






"We believe that healthy competition will help the genre grow and channels will deliver quality entertainment to their audience. It‘s the kind of content that makes all the difference and develops loyalty to a channel. A lot more original content in terms of movies and series is planned for the year. We will also provide a platform for content that other people make, through acquisitions. Besides quality programming, we will also try to build up on the events of 2006," avers Tata.


The playing field is ready, it is now left to see whether the kid‘s market in India will mature to the extent that more than just two players are in the game, but rather multiple teams each delivering their expertise to keep kids glued!

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