The kids’ genre was quite active throughout 2007. With various programming initiatives and on-ground marketing pushes, the channels have been in the news constantly. On the ratings front, the genre has a different story to tell in comparison to previous years. The oldest player in the genre, Cartoon Network, saw a tough year. The older of the two siblings from the Turner Network saw quite a drop in its ratings through the year.
TAM Media Research shows that for the C&S 4-14 in the Hindi speaking markets, while the year began with clear slots for various channels, new trends emerged in the second half of the year. The first few months saw Cartoon Network continue its lead in the genre. Pogo, the No. 2 player in the genre, got a tough fight from Hungama TV in the first few months, with the latter subsequently taking over. This period was good for both Hungama and Disney Channel, as the latter, too, gave enough competition to Pogo.
All kids’ channels lost shares mid-2007 from May to August, with Cartoon Network, Pogo and Disney Channel seeing the most decline. This was despite Cartoon Network creating new programming block to woo adults with ‘Boomerang’ and movies like ‘Shrek’ in Hindi. They also undertook on-ground initiatives like self-defence workshops under the aegis of ‘Dragonball Z’ show and expanding its association with mobile2win that allowed it content distribution across mobile carriers for the network.
While Hungama, too, registered drop here, it still managed enough shares to claim the leadership slot in the genre in several weeks in this period. Some of the programme launches that the channel undertook here included four animated shows – ‘Lunar Jim’ ‘I’m an Animal’, ‘Second Season of Fifi and Flower Tots' and ‘Pororo – The little Penguin’, in addition to ‘Tensai Bakabon’ and ‘Zoran’. Hungama also had the ‘Right Here Right Now’ hourly contest on the channel in this period.
In the period post-August 2007, Cartoon Network managed to arrest the decline in its viewership. This, however, did not affect the Cartoon Network–Hungama ratings battle, and Hungama TV had more weeks of leadership to its credit than Cartoon Network. Another programming initiative seen from Hungama was ‘Kiteretsu’ in October 2007, which threw good numbers for the channel. Where Cartoon Network and Hungama competed closely on the top, in the second rung, there was close competition between Nick and Pogo. 2007 was a growth story for Nick as far as ratings were concerned. Since August 2007, Nick had beaten Pogo to be the No. 3 player in the genre.
Though the channel undertook programming and marketing initiatives, at any given time, there was some contest or the other on Nick. There was ‘Pakda-Pakdi’ contest in February, followed by ‘Nick Fundoo Superstar Contest’ during the summer with the ‘Aflatoon Afternoon’ contest in September 2007 and the ‘Chak De Ninja’ contest in October 2007. The Nickindia.com website also went live in the year.
Pogo, too, saw many programming initiatives in 2007, beginning with shows like ‘Just Mohabbat’ and ‘Hum Paanch’ to bi-lingual series ‘Galli Galli Sim Sim’ to the ‘Bournvita Confidence Academy’. The channel also went on-ground with the merchandising that was done for ‘Buchki’, and the subsequent association with the forthcoming B R Films’ ‘Bhootnath’.
Disney Channel saw significant drop in its shares in the year, which brought it to the third rung of kids’ channels, where it competed with sister channel Jetix. Walt Disney Television India renamed its channel Toon Disney as Jetix in the year. On an absolute comparison, the last quarter of 2007 saw the Jetix graph grow, though on the overall level, it was the last channel in the scorecard of kids’ channels.
Disney, too, had a lot in the year, the big attraction being ‘High School Musical 2’. The movie was supported by the launch of a Hindi soundtrack with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and even an on-ground initiative in the form of ‘My School Rocks’, a music and dance competition inspired by ‘High School Musical’. The winning school team starred in a music video of one of the songs from the movie. Some other programming initiatives included ‘Johnny and the Sprites’ and ‘Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive’ on Jetix. Disney Channel’s summer saw the ‘Lose Control’ contest as well.
The year 2008 would be about how Turner works on its channels to turn the game back where “Turner is its best competition”, as Turner officials have quoted in the past. Can Disney rub off some of Hungama’s success on Disney Channel and Jetix, and can Nick give sleepless nights to players in the top rung? The year has a lot in store.