Prajjal Saha

Hungama emerges as 3rd largest player among kids channels

Media planners say that while Hungama TV may have been successful in inviting kids in the 9-14 age group, those in the age group of 4-9 are still loyal to Cartoon Network

UTV's Hungama TV has emerged as the third largest player in the kids channel sweepstakes. Launched in 2004, the channel has done better than many of the other channels in its genre.

As per TAM Media Research (Base: C&S, 4-14, Hindi speaking markets), in the last 14 weeks since Hungama TV was launched, the cumulative reach of the channel was 18 lakh viewers, whereas Pogo and Animax, the other two channels launched in 2004, got a cumulative reach of 12 lakh viewers and 8 lakh viewers, respectively, during this period.

However, Hungama TV isn't anywhere close to the market leader, still. In week 2 of 2005, while Cartoon Network managed a market share of 64 per cent, Pogo, the second channel of Turner International, got a share of 20 per cent. In comparison, Hungama TV got a share of 9 per cent which was, of course, higher than other channels such as Nick, Splash, Animax. It was too early to consider the share of Disney channels as they were launched just over a month back.

Purnendu Bose, COO, Hungama TV, seems quite satisfied with the channel's performance. He says, “While Cartoon Network has been around for nine years now, we are only 14-weeks old. We are aware of the fact that we will need some time to compete directly with Cartoon Network.”

Sam Balsara, CMD of Madison Communications, says, “The success that Hungama has achieved today is because of its Indianised and Hindi content.” He cites the example of how STAR Plus emerged as a market leader after its transformation into a Hindi channel, and the way the vernacular language newspapers are growing.”

However, a Mumbai-based media planner says, “Hungama TV is more skewed towards the older kids of the 9-14 age group. So, Hungama TV's gain cannot be calculated as Cartoon Network's loss, which maintains a consistent viewership among the younger kids”

Concurs Sandeep Tarkas, chief executive, Media Direction. He says, “Hungama with its variety programming has been successful in inviting grown-up kids in the age group of 9-14 years. The channel's innovative format of asking kids about programmes they like to watch has helped the channel to manage a judicious mix of programming. But still, Cartoon Network is least affected with this, as among the 4-9 year olds, the channel is still the hot favourite.”

Tarkas, however, doesn't agree to the fact the Indianisation of content has helped the channel in bringing in viewers. He says, “I don't think children differentiate a lot between Indian and international content as far as it is in a language, which they can understand.

He also feels that the channel needs to strengthen its distribution further as it is still not available in many pockets of the country. But Bose of Hungama TV claims, “From the very first week, Hungama managed a cumulative reach of 9.11 per cent, while Pogo's reach in its launch-week was 2.4 per cent and that of Animax was 2.28 per cent.”

© 2005 agencyfaqs!

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