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Nickelodeon to launch HD feed; bullish on growth

Nick HD+ is slated to be India’s first HD channel in the kids entertainment space. Nickelodeon has also announced a new homegrown show, ‘Shiva’ which will go on air around Diwali

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | October 8, 2015


Viacom18 is all set to launch the HD feed of its kids’ channel Nickelodeon, Nick HD+ will be India’s first HD channel in the kids entertainment space. Nick HD+ will feature content from all of Viacom18’s kids entertainment properties.

Commenting on the HD feed, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, EVP & Business Head – Kids Cluster, Viacom18, said, “Nick HD+ is going to be the next big offering in the next quarter and likely to launch in this month itself. It will be available on all major direct-to-home (DTH) and cable platforms. It will have the best of the best from all our portfolios. Now you will see all the popular characters like Motu Patlu, Pakdai, Dora, Spongebob, Power Rangers, etc., in HD. We also plan to have some exclusive content for the HD feed, such as never seen before episodes of ‘Spongebob’ and ‘Dora’. Besides, we’ll also launch some international shows that have not yet been launched in the country.”

Nina Elavia Jaipuria Nina Elavia Jaipuria

Jaipuria further said that the HD feed would be part of the bouquet price. In terms of the revenue model, Nick HD+ will initially be ad-free, but going forward, the channel could follow the Colors HD revenue model. Jaipuria added that no same content would be aired across all their portfolios and even if a particular show was airing on more than one channel, they would be different episodes.

Meanwhile, Nick will be launching an indigenous property, ‘Shiva’, a high octane action comedy series, close to Diwali this year. Jaipuria commented, “Nickelodeon has always stayed ahead of the curve with its innovative and engaging initiatives. Keeping kids at the core of everything that we do, endearing characters, path breaking content and pioneering initiatives have scripted Nickelodeon’s leadership and success story. The launch of ‘Shiva’ and Nick HD+ are significant milestones in the category and are sure to be game changers, further fortifying our leadership position.”

‘Shiva’, an action comedy series, is the story of a nine-year-old brave, fearless, and intelligent boy who stays in Vedas City with his grandparents. Every story in the show starts with an incident that threatens Vedas City. Shiva along with his gang of friends sets out to save the day with the help of some cool gadgets, including a superbike.

‘Shiva’ will have 26 episodes. Though the time slot is yet to be decided, the show is expected to run on prime time slots – one each in afternoon and evening.

Jaipuria informed that the channel would embark on a 360-degree marketing campaign with special emphasis on television, radio, digital and social media to promote ‘Shiva’. Nick has already set the ball rolling with Shiva merchandising by pitching the Shiva bike to a bicycle manufacturer. Jaipuria further said that the network had also initiated the syndication process by taking the property ‘Shiva’ to MIPCOM.

Over the years, the Indian kids entertainment space has witnessed ‘Kid Krrish’, which airs on a rival network, hog the limelight. When asked whether ‘Shiva’ was Nickeledeon’s answer to ‘Kid Krrish’, Jaipuria replied, “I think ‘Shiva’ is just being conceptualised as a superkid who is fairly ordinary, but gifted with extraordinary talent and intelligence. I think Shiva will be Shiva. This is a series versus a movie; the two to my mind are incomparable. A series is about sustainability and how you sustain it is about creating 22 minutes into 100-episodes versus creating 60 minutes.”

Commenting on the spot rate for a new property like ‘Shiva’, Jaipuria said, “That depends on the slot it will come on. The way the partnership works for us from the sales perspective is about day part. So, the rate will depend on the day part it is in.”

Before ‘Shiva’ goes on air on Nick, Viacom18 will be shifting its popular show ‘Oggy and the Cockroaches’ to its other kids’ channel, Sonic, in mid-October.  “‘Power Rangers’, ‘Pakdam Pakdai’, and now with ‘Oggy’ we’re hoping to make a difference to Sonic as a channel. I think the task for Sonic is very clear – it is about getting kids to watch the channel. By shifting an established show like ‘Oggy and the Cockroaches’, which forms 20-22 per cent of our viewership on Nick, we are hoping that the loyal viewers will now move to Sonic, thereby enhancing the viewership of Sonic as well. The marketing campaign is called ‘Oggy and Dogg’ (Pakdam Pakdai) on Sonic,” said Jaipuria.

Talking about Nickelodeon’s performance, Jaipuria said that it had been the No. 1 kids’ entertainment network for a while now. As per select data (All India : NCCS All : 4 - 14 years: Individuals : BARC India base - C&S 1Lac) of BARC ratings, the channel was ranked No. 1 with a viewership of 50,817 (ratings in sums of 000s), followed by Pogo TV with 42,922 (ratings in sums of 000s) and Hungama with a viewership of 33,386 (ratings in sum of 000s).

Talking about the growth in advertising revenues, Jaipuria said, “While we’ve been raking in the ratings, we’ve also captured the larger share of the advertising pie. We’ve recorded a YoY growth of 28 per cent. We’ve also grown on our spot rates. So, it is a very robust growth for the portfolio from an advertising perspective, led by ad rate for a change. In the last six months, we’ve had a large plethora of advertisers coming on board, be it e-commerce, FMCG, food & beverage, consumer durables – we had them all. So, from Vadilal to Forbes, Flipkart, Airtel and Honda to HP, we’ve had them all. In fact, our existing advertisers came forward and gave us new brands.”

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