Kids' channels undaunted by IPL

MUMBAI: It seems that the kids’ segment of the television audience is immune to the charms of the Indian Premier League (IPL). When the T20 league is back for its yearly jaunt, it is common consensus that general entertainment channels (GECs) suffer the most in terms of viewership. Moreover, especially since the summer vacations are on during the months of April and May, each year the IPL threatens to grab a large chunk of viewership from kids’ channels as well.

While GECs sounded the alarm in March by attempting to spike viewer interest with show launches, kids’ broadcasters didn’t feel the need to do so.

Well, this doesn’t mean that the kids’ channels must not be on guard. While few broadcasters do not see the IPL as a big cause for worry, some have readied a differentiated strategy in a bid to retain viewership on their channel.

Discovery Kids, which recently launched Little Singham, has plans to attract fans by releasing stories on little Singham playing cricket. Discovery Kids head Uttam Pal Singh said that the IPL isn’t a threat to the channel. “What kids do is they have the snippets of the match and then again after a while, they come back to watch their favourite character. We have some interesting strategy in place; let’s see how they pan out.”

On the contrary, Singh says that the period witnesses growth in viewership because of it being a time of vacations.

Viacom18 kids entertainment cluster head Nina Elavia Jaipuria agreed with his point. “Summer is the most important quarter in the year for the kids’ genre given that it is a holiday season for kids.  The summer quarter is brought alive for kids by Nickelodeon through some high-decibel and immersive engagement activities, a robust content pipeline of new episodes and made for television movies etc. of kids’ favourite characters like Motu Patlu, Shiva amongst others,” she said.

This also translates into high advertiser interest in the kids’ category in the April-June quarter, given the increased engagement opportunity with kids as well as parents.

The recent addition, Sony Yay, has spruced its line-up with a host of new shows and movies. It too believes that IPL doesn’t heavily impact the genre because of its late evening timing giving kids the whole day to watch.

Sony Yay head Leena Lele Dutta said, “The original time slots that we have is 9.30 am in the morning and during summer it is 12.30-1.30 pm in the afternoon. We aim to thrust everything during the time when they have the remote in their hand.” Viewership does taper off in the evening but by this time, much of the content has been consumed by the kids.

Kids broadcasters are confident that IPL does not impact viewership but have ensured that kids can make the most of the day time during their summer vacation.

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