Ajita Shashidhar

Mumbai, Feb. 2

NICK India is planning to look at language programming in a big way this year. Ms Hema Govindan, General Manager and Vice-President, Nick India, said that though the channel has no immediate plans to launch Nick in other vernacular languages, it would look at having programming blocks with vernacular mass entertainment channels. "We are on the look out forpartnerships," she said.

The channel has kicked off an ambitious marketing and programming strategy in a bid to make its place among the top three channels in the kids' genre this year.

The channel is planning to launch a host of new shows such as

Trollz

,

Avatar

,

Danny Phantom

and

Lazy Town

this year. It would also be launching a locally produced gameshow, which would go on air on March 15.

Also on cards is the launch of new categories of Nick merchandise this year, which would include magazines, home video, toys, apparels, and bed and bath linen.

Talking about the channel's marketing strategy, Ms Govindan said that the focus would be on experiential marketing, which would include the channel's brand ambassador, SpongeBob Square Pants, doing mass contact programmes in around 210 schools in Mumbai and Delhi and entertaining the kids "We are going to generate a lot of buzz around our shows," she said.

The channel is also looking at introducing some of its other international formats in India such as

Kids Lets Just Play

, which would encourage children to indulge in outdoor games, as well as formats such as

Kids Choice Awards

. "We may not have an awards show, but would have something challenging that would empower kids."

Ms Govindan said that the viewership of Nick which was 0.03 per cent in September has risen to 0.12 per cent January. "Our monthly GRP has also tripled to 121 points. Similarly, our distribution presence has also gone up by 50 per cent. We have also worked with cable operators in smaller markets to increase our tuneable frequency in which the channel is slotted."

Nick, reportedly, is among the top two kids channels in almost all the markets it is present in. "It is high time Nick India gets to that position," said Ms Govindan.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 3, 2006)
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