Viacom18 to launch Nick HD+; readies third localised kids show 'Shiva'

MUMBAI: Viacom 18’s kids cluster is gearing up for some game changing moves. In a first for the Indian market, Nickelodeon will launch a kids channel in high definition called Nick HD+, which will showcase the best of local and international content.


Nick HD+ will soon be available on all cable and direct to home (DTH) platforms in the country. Nick HD+ content will be curated from the best of Nick’s offerings across the board, which includes special 'never seen before' episodes of Dora The Explorer and Sponge-bob Squarepants. Some of the network’s international shows such as Marvin Marvin will also be introduced to India through Nick HD+.




Additionally, after tasting success with its two localised shows namely Motu Patlu and Pakdam Pakdai, Viacom18’s kids cluster Nickelodeon India will be launching its third localised series titled Shiva. Slated to launch on Nickelodeon during Diwali this year on either the afternoon or evening prime time slot, Shiva is expected to give competition to Pogo's popular Indian animated series Chhota Bheem.


Created by Maya Digital Studios under Suhas Kadav’s direction, Shiva comes as an answer to the channel’s requirement for a home grown show that caters fun and action to their young viewers.


“As per last year’s Oremax Small Wonder study from a sample of 1800 kids between the age of six to 14 years, we were missing one of the key drivers that led viewership and kids engagement, among all of our shows. We needed a high octane action comedy series that completed our portfolio and Shiva is just what we needed,” points out Viacom18 EVP and business head – kids cluster Nina Elavia Jaipuria.


Unlike their other shows, which range from 15-20 minutes, each episode of Shiva will be 22 minutes long.


Aimed at kids between the age of 8 to 11, Shiva tells the story of the nine year old brave, fearless and intelligent boy who stays in Vedas city with his maternal grandparents. Every story in the show starts with an incident that threatens Vedas City. A true hero, Shiva along with his gang of friends sets out to save the day with the help some cool gadgets like the super bike developed by him.


Developed after over a year of careful research, planning, and conceptualising, Shiva is being touted as one of the expensive projects by the channel. “Any animated series episode costs four times than that of a live action series,” shares Jaipuria. 


While an episode of a show like Chhota Bheem costs anywhere between Rs 26 - 27 lakh, Jaipuria, pegs the cost of Shiva’s episode anything above Rs 20 lakh.


With high hopes riding on the new show, Nickelodeon will be leaving no stones unturned to promote the show through a 360 degree marketing campaign, making the most of the approaching festive season.


To start with, the channel has put out teaser promos of the show through their home network channels. As the festive season nears, Nickelodeon will expand marketing and promotion measures through retail, van activities, OOH, digital and more.


“We plan to go below the line to put out the word through channels in other networks like a Sab TV or a Zee Cinema, which we know gets traction from kids. We will also be looking at utilising some of the movie releases, which are targeted at kids, thereby creating awareness in theatres. For the festive season of Dussehra and Deepavali everyone is out at the malls, so we will be undertaking a lot of on-ground mall activities happening through partnerships. We will also use radio as a reminder medium,” she lists out, adding that the channel will also use social media and the digital platform to spread the word around on their new offering.




Nickelodeon India has also devised a strong growth plan for its other kids channel - Sonic, which is all set to up the entertainment quotient for kids this season. Further fortifying the high decibel Sonic line-up, the series Oggy & The Cockroaches will now shift from Nick to Sonic. With shows like Oggy and Pakdam Pakdai, Sonic is being pitched as the ultimate comic-chase destination.


Although admitting that moving a successful show like Oggy & The Cockroaches from Nick to Sonic is risky, Jaipuria is hopeful that the show will help strengthen Sonic’s line up. Shedding more light on the reason behind this move, Jaipuria explains, “It is a combination of a couple of drivers that seem to be working for each character under Nick’s banner, whether it's Dora, Oggy or Motu Patlu. We realised that if we focus on only action in Sonic, we will only cater to a very small section of audience. Therefore this move is also about expanding Sonic’s reach by adding a flavour of comedy with Oggy & The Cockroaches.”


She added that the channel’s reach has gone up after a similar move they made earlier with Pakdam Pakdai.


The network will try to drive traction to Sonic through Nickelodeon by urging loyal fans Oggy & The Cockroaches to follow it on Sonic. This will be followed by a full fledged promotion activity for Sonic through the month of October.


When asked to comment on these new developments on the network’s kid cluster section, Jaipuria said, “Nickelodeon has always stayed ahead of the curve with its innovative and engaging initiatives. Keeping kids at the core of everything that we do, endearing characters, path breaking content and pioneering initiatives have scripted Nickelodeon’s leadership and success story. The launch of Shiva and Nick HD+ are significant milestones in the category and are sure to be game changers, further fortifying our leadership position.”

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