Nick plans local content expansion

MUMBAI: Little Krishna has put kids TV Nick on the hunt for local content. The Viacom18 channel, which had left the chase for such content to rival networks, is now in talks with various production houses to source animated programming that would widen its audience base.

Says Nick India SVP and GM Nina Elavia Jaipuria, "Although our primary audience target remains to be the 4-9 and 10-14-year-olds, Little Krishna helped increase a lot of co-viewing among young parents. By expanding our local content, we are expecting the co-viewing pattern to get a further push."

Little Krishna, acquired from Big Animation for the South Asian territory, has been performing consistently with an average TVR of over 1.

Nick, however, is not looking at mythological content alone. "We are looking at content that has a strong narrative, storytelling power and good production value. This is because a kid‘s attention span is very limited and you have to engage them within the first ten seconds," Jaipuria explains.

The local content acquisition will also further extend Nick‘s licensing and merchandising opportunities.

"We have acquired the licensing and merchandising rights for Little Krishna. We will be launching consumer products based on the character by the last quarter of this year," avers Jaipuria.

Late April this year, Nick edged out market leader Cartoon Network to rule for the first time in the Hindi speaking markets (HSM). The channel now is looking at creating more sticky content to entrench its leadership position.

Multinational kids channels have turned to local content to strengthen their position in India. Turner International India runs approximately 35 local shows on Pogo and Cartoon Network together. These include Chhota Bheem and FAQs on Pogo and a series of Krishna movies on Cartoon Network.Says Turner International India VP and deputy general manager - entertainment networks - South Asia Monica Tata, "As a great believer in the Indian storytelling heritage, Turner has successively contributed to keeping India‘s treasure trove of stories alive with animation through its leading kids‘ channels, Cartoon Network and Pogo. We were the first to acquire Indian animation and first to promote home grown series such that kids‘ enjoy them as they do a Tom & Jerry and Ben10."
Disney Channel has also been playing on local content. Apart from the popular Kya Mast Hai Life, it has already produced three long-format shows - Vickey Aur Vetaal, Dhoom Machao Dhoom and Agadam, Bagadam, Tigadam, which have reached their season-ends. It is also running locally-acquired content such as Shararat and Son Pari on the channel.

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