Nickelodeon gets set for May action

Even as the Disney threat continues to loom large on the horizon, children's channel Nickelodeon is finally making a serious play for the viewer's attention.

After nearly 18 months of being around, Nick is seeing better carriage in Mumbai, at least. Says Sanjeev Hiremath, vice-president, network development, South Asia, licensing and merchandising, MTV India, "This kind of favourable positioning by the cable fraternity is being achieved without resorting to paying carriage fees." Hiremath claims the channel's reach touched 9.8 million by March and would reach 11 million this month.

Beginning this month, Nick is also going all out with some serious promotional activity in the form of movie screenings, direct contact campaigns aimed at kids, banners in various localities and contests. The channel is also trying to shed the myth that it is trying to woo viewers away from chief rival Cartoon Network. Hiremath says it would be wrong to assume that Nick's growth depended solely on how much it could grab from Cartoon Network's viewer base. Nick's target audience is eight to 14-year-olds while Cartoon Network's audience was mainly kids who were eight and under, he maintains.

Nick may well have its work cut out, considering that Pentamedia promoted Splash, another kids' channel, is also aggressively trying to expand its presence. Splash's current target is to fan out with telecasts to 23 of what are normally classified as the TRP metros and cities. This will comprise places like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Pune, Goa and towns of Punjab among others.


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