Viacom18's plan for Sonic

MUMBAI: Viacom18 is gearing up to launch a new channel, Sonic, by mid-December.

Sonic, the fifth channel from the joint venture company between US media conglomerate Viacom Inc and Network18 Group, will target the 10-17 year old.

Viacom18 believes that this TG is largely underserved and untapped and Sonic will bridge the gap between the kids and the youth channels. Incidentally, the JV also runs kids channel Nick and youth channel MTV, apart from Hindi general entertainment channel Colors and English entertainment channel Vh1.
"Sonic will cater to the audience aged between 10-17 years of age. They are extremely influential and are drawn towards thrills, action and edge of the seat excitement. At the same time, the category is underserved," said Sonic and Nick EVP and GM Nina Elavia Jaipuria.

The channel will predominantly be an animation channel with 80-85 per cent animated content, said Jaipuria.

However, Sonic will have to tap into a category which has about Rs 2 - 2.5 billion revenue potential, while the cost of original animated content and distribution (carriage) are very high.

"Yes, the cost of original content is very high and distribution also needs huge investment, but we as a group (Viacom18) have been a challenger in the industry. We aim to reach 40 million households in first phase of launch," Jaipuria said.

The channel will be paid from the day of launch and will be distributed through Sun18 Media Services.

The channel will soon roll out a 360 degree marketing campaign spanning TV, radio, print and outdoor. It has Vizeum India as the media agency while Scarecrow Communications is the creative agency of the new channel.

UK-based Red Bee has created the logo and the on-air packaging of the channel.

The channel will be launched with four feeds - English, Hindi, Marathi and one more HSM regional language, which Jaipuria said will be disclosed later.

Sonic will have six hours of original programming daily. It will air shows including Shaktimaan (animated version of India‘s first superhero). Big Animation is producing the 26-episodic series for the channel. Other animated shows include - Kung Fu Panda - The Legend of Awesomeness, Jackie Chan Fantasia, King Kong, Power Rangers and Superstrikas.

On weekend, the channel will air action movies.

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