Summer is the season of activity for kids' channels, with all players planning a variety of appealing and engaging content to attract children during the summer vacations.
Most kids' channels clock in a huge viewership in these two-three months. With several options to choose from - Cartoon Network (CN), Pogo, Nick, Disney, Hungama and Jetix, kids are spoilt for choice.
Turner International charts its programming strategy by drawing unique insights from its children's lifestyle and research study, titled New Generations. Last year's New Generation findings reveal that children like watching long formats and hence this summer, Cartoon Network and Pogo will air movies.
Film properties such as All Mighty Movies and May Movie Magic will be introduced under the network's summer programming lineup on both the channels.
Pogo will also launch the new season of its immensely popular 'do it yourself' show, MAD. Besides movies, Pogo also offers entertainment in various genres such as live action and adventure. "CN is the best place to watch cartoons. Pogo, with a mix of live action and animation, attracts as much as 35 per cent of eyeballs in the 15+ age group, as per our research," Desai states.
Nick is putting its bet on its popular toon character, Ninja Hattori. The channel will promote its toon characters as it believes that these act as role models, friends and super heroes for children.
Various toon characters such as Ninja Hattori, Dora and Sponge Bob command huge fan following on Nick and this summer, new series of these will be launched. Besides, a magic show called Spillz, where kids will learn to perform magic tricks, will be aired. The show will debut on May 4 at 5:30 pm; it will be a daily and engage kids from Monday to Friday.
As part of the on-ground activation programme, Nick will take Ninja Hattori directly to the kids. "We will travel with Nick toons to cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Mall activations will have children interacting with the toon characters through contests, songs and dances, and winning several prizes," Jaipuria adds.
The channel has also tied up with theatre producer-director Raell Padamsee's ACE Productions for 'Reach for the Stars!' workshops, where kids will be engaged in creative activities with Padamsee.
Disney has launched a summer fare, Oye Summer Summer Oye, where Hindi movies such as Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar will be aired. According to Devika Prabhu, associate director, programming, Walt Disney Television International India, these titles have been selected cautiously so that they reflect the positioning and philosophy of the channel. "Both the popular movies are all about believing in oneself and aspiring for better things in life," she says.
Since the channel focuses on tweens (children aged 8-12 years), a new local production, called Kya Mast Hai Life, has been launched. Some of the other new shows will be Wizards of Waverly Place and Suite Life on Deck. Disney channel will also air a new season of Hannah Montana. Movies such as Return to Neverland, Atlantis: Milo's return, Mulan, 101 Dalmatians 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will also be aired.
Talking about summer programming on Disney, Hungama and Jetix, Prabhu says, "Disney focuses on tweens - so we have youth oriented shows on the channel. Our annual study for this TG (target group), KidSense, provides us with the necessary insights for devising content for the channel. For Hungama, we have created three new time bands filled with fun, while Jetix makes for a perfect destination for action and adventure."
The three new programming bands on Hungama are - Trouble Soda, Fun Gas and Dum Powder. The Trouble Soda band will have new seasons of Doraemon and Ninjaboy Rantaro. The Fun Gas band launches a brand new comedy show, Asari Chan, and new seasons of Kiteretsu and Shinchan. The Dum Powder band is for action and adventure, and will support series such as Power Rangers, Dharamveer and Hatim.
Summer fare could be a major factor in deciding which kids' channel rules the TV screens. As per TAM data on C&S, 4-14 years (all India market) in Week 17, Nick is leading the top order with a channel share of 24.4 per cent and in Week 16 with a market share of 20.1 per cent, the channel was placed third behind CN and Pogo. In Week 17 CN and Pogo are placed second and third, respectively.
In Week 16 and 17, CN has managed channel shares of 23.9 and 22.5 per cent, respectively. For the same period, Pogo ended up with market shares of 21.7 and 21.6 per cent (Week 16 and Week 17 respectively). With shares of 15 and 13.2 per cent, Hungama occupied fifth position in Week 16 and Week 17. It was followed by Jetix, with channel shares of 9.3 and 9.4 per cent respectively. Disney was sixth with channel shares of 9.6 and 8.5.
The recently launched edutainment channel, Spacetoon, maintained a channel share of 0.3 per cent in Week 16 and Week 17.