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Quick 5 with Disney-UTV’s Vijay Subramaniam

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Quick 5 with Disney-UTV’s Vijay Subramaniam

The kids’ genre is constantly evolving with broadcasers today experimenting with a variety of content – from local animated shows to live action content – to garner audience attention and sustain viewership.

In conversation with exchange4media, Vijay Subramaniam, Executive Director, Kids Network, Disney-UTV shares his perspective on Disney's latest venture ‘Luck Luck Ki Baat’, the growth of live action content in India and the evolution of television as an important medium of reach and audience connect.

How has live action content in India grown in the kids’ space?
Live action is very important content expression for us at Disney. Through our live action series and made for TV specials, we have the opportunity to tell our stories in a fun, locally relevant manner that appeals to the family as a unit, with the kids at the centre of it. We are the only channel in this genre that has witnessed success in live action fiction series with our shows ‘Best of Luck Nikki’ and ‘Suite Life of Karan and Kabir’ performing incredibly well for us.

Building on the success of these shows, we are now bringing India’s first ever Disney channel original movie, ‘Luck Luck Ki Baat’, a movie which is especially created for our television audiences.

What has been the audience response and how well has the channel done in terms of viewership?
The response has been truly overwhelming. We launched the first season of ‘Best of Luck Nikki’ last year with unprecedented ratings, making it the most successful launch of a live action series (since 2005) in the kids genre in India. We are currently airing the second season.

In April this year, we released ‘Suite Life of Karan and Kabir’ which was also well-received by around eight million audiences across all airings in the launch week; garnering a TVR of 1.3. Interestingly, 53 per cent of the audiences approximately are kids and the rest are adults, further adding impetus to our brand philosophy.

What is the rationale behind the movie ‘Luck Luck Ki Baat’? How is the channel planning to monetize it?
‘Luck Luck Ki Baat’ is a movie that has specially been created for the television audiences. The phenomenal success of our locally produced original programming has made Disney channel the leading destination on Sunday mornings. And we are delighted to premiere our very first family movie ‘Luck Luck Ki Baat’ on September 30 at 10.00AM.

Why a television release and not a theatrical launch? Could you elaborate on the media platforms that will be used to promote the movie?
According to the industry data in the FICCI Entertainment Report, approximately 146 million households own television sets, out of which around 61.22 million are households with kids. This data alone speaks of the power and remarkable reach of television today. It is a family’s own personal medium of entertainment which they are using extensively for inclusive movie experience at home.

We witnessed the power of the medium to deliver great movie experiences last year through the viewer response to our last premiere ‘Phineas And Ferb: Across The 2nd Dimension’. This Disney channel original movie premiered on a truly theatrical scale and performed incredibly well across the genre. Encouraged and enthused by the viewer’s response, we are delighted to premiere ‘Luck Luck Ki Baat’ on television and reach out to as many kids and families as possible. The effort is to bring the theatrical experience in our viewer’s living room yet again and ensure that they enjoy our first locally produced Disney movie as much as they loved ‘Phineas and Ferb’.

We intend to use the extensive reach of our network with an extremely loyal viewer base to promote the movie. The network strength successfully delivered unparalleled viewer engagement during our record breaking campaign ‘Jet Set Go’ as well.

Any new live action shows that the channel has plans on airing? Do you think this trend will see growth in terms of viewership and popularity?
Yes absolutely. Since the launch of ‘Vicky Aur Vetaal’ on Disney Channel in 2006, we have only witnessed an upward trend in the live action space with unprecedented ratings for our shows.

Kids undoubtedly play an integral role as the core audiences. But they must be addressed together with their families with locally relevant content that appeals to the entire household. We definitely see tremendous potential and in the coming months we have a packed calendar of launches, both with fresh seasons of our already successful series and a slew of new ones as well.

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