MUMBAI: Joining the bandwagon of launching local language feeds in the kids’ TV sector is Turner India’s Cartoon Network. The company has undertaken a soft launch of its new channel Cartoon Network HD+ from 15 April 2018 and has Hindi, Tamil and Telugu feeds along with English.
Turner India has started testing signals for Cartoon Network HD+ for a phased roll out over the next few weeks, according to a Turner India spokesperson.
Nickelodeon, Disney, Sony Yay, Cartoon Network and Discovery Kids all have Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and English feeds for their kids. Broadcasters are finally realising the viewership addition that the South Indian languages can add. Only Sony Yay stands out of the crowd as it has Bengali and Malayalam feeds as well.
According to FICCI-KPMG’s report for 2018, there has been increased interest across broadcasters to be able to provide better quality and fresher content to regional consumers. It also suggests that the increase in weightage to rural India by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) had a positive impact on the kids’ genre, which saw a jump in absolute terms of viewership numbers in 2017 compared to the previous year.
Another BARC report found that just 14 per cent of kids watch children’s content while the rest end up co-viewing with elders, thus giving broadcasters an opportunity to grab this passive young audience.
Original programming from Cartoon Network will be available on the channel. Shows like Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, We Bare Bears and some brand new exclusive shows are in the pipeline.
After nearly two decades of successful strategic collaboration, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEE) and Turner International (Turner) had mutually decided to work independently for driving subscription revenue. Both companies joined hands back in 2002 to manage distribution and trade marketing for a bouquet of channels in India. Turner appointed IndiaCast Media distribution as its exclusive distribution agent.
In September 2016, Turner had launched HBO HD by rebranding its erstwhile HBO Hits channel. Turner’s India portfolio includes CNN International, Cartoon Network, POGO, Toonami, HBO, and WB.