Viveat Susan Pinto

Merchandising high on Turner's agenda

The company plans to get into this space by next

One thing that characterises Turner group channels, Cartoon Network and POGO, is their 360-degree approach to the business. Cartoon Network, in particular, has used this strategy very effectively, exploiting the brand equity of its on-air characters across multiple platforms.

The result of this strategy is that the company has seen a 20 per cent increase in licensing business year-on-year, and going further, Turner has plans to venture into merchandising by next year.

"There will be a lot of activity in the consumer products space from our side in 2005," says Ian Diamond, senior vice-president and general manager, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, Inc.

Alongside, the company has plans to increase localised programming on POGO with the duration of the two-hour band Prime POGO - the channel's first local production launched in August 2004 - set to increase in the new year.

Currently, the channel is busy readying itself for the POGO Amazing Kids Awards, which will be telecast on December 24, during evening prime time.

Much like rival Nick's Kids Choice Awards in the US, the POGO Amazing Kids Awards calls youngsters to vote for nominees across various categories including the Amazing Hero, Heroine, Toon, Comedian, Sports Hero, Dancer etc. The Awards also has a special segment devoted to child prodigies, where gifted children will be felicitated.

As for Cartoon Network, Turner intends to keep the viewer traffic going with new episodes of Batman, Pokemon and Digimon and animated movies such as Ice Age, Quest for Camelot etc.

The channel will add a few more shows to its repertoire of original productions with the launch of Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi and Life and Times of Juniper Lee in the new year.

Cartoon Network's original productions comprise such popular shows such as Power Puff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory, and presently, the total number of original shows on the channel is about fourteen in all.

© 2004 agencyfaqs!

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