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Sun's Chutti TV targets 25% ad growth in 2010
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MUMBAI: Sun TV's grip down south extends beyond general entertainment audiences. The two-year-old kids channel Chutti TV has grabbed a 60 per cent share in Tamil Nadu while global brands Disney XD and Cartoon Network are fighting hard to crack that market with their localised versions.

No wonder Chutti TV is going to ride the recessionary year with a 16.24 per cent growth in ad revenue, the highest for any kids network in India. Though at a lower revenue base, the channel is eyeing a 25 per cent ad revenue growth for 2010.

<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" src="http://i45.tinypic.com/1zbuds0.jpg" />Says Chutti TV head Kavitha Jaubin, "We are going to post a 16.24 per cent increase in our ad revenues this year compared to 2008. And as we anticipate 2010 to be a fairly good year, we are targeting at a 25 per cent jump next year."

Advertisers find Chutti TV an important vehicle to reach kids in Tamil Nadu, provided it comes at the right cost. Says Starcom executive director, India-West Nikhil Rangnekar, "When you are dealing with a monopoly channel, the scope for negotiations is always that much lower. By and large, advertisers are happy with Chutti TV's performance."

Chutti TV's stranglehold in the market allows it to continue with its annual ad deals while big advertisers, hit by the global downturn, have moved to quarterly deals with the other kids broadcasters.

Says Jaubin, "We have, on a consistent basis, been making yearly deals with advertisers which have worked well for us."

Agrees Rangnekar, "Unlike other channels in this space, Chutti TV would have seen growth since brands targeted at kids haven't really lowered their ad spends in 2009."

It is pertinent to note here that apart from being the first in its genre, what has contributed most to Chutti TV's viewership is the language connect that it has created with audiences and a well-established distribution network.

Explains a top executive from a national kid's broadcaster on condition of anonymity, "Being a complete 24-hour Tamil channel in the kids space, Chutti TV has established a direct contact with the audiences, which has helped the channel to grow in viewership. Also, being part of the Sun Network, the distribution of the channel is extremely fertile in Tamil Nadu."

Besides upping its ad revenues in 2010, Chutti TV will also focus on its content licensing segment, continuing to buy properties that click with its audiences.

Says Jaubin, "Chutti TV has been consistent in procuring shows, delivering to the channel revenues. Some of our recent acquisitions include Heidi- the renowned classic, Zeke's Pad - a new age series based on technology and a teenagers fantasy, Super Why? - an interactive content that is on air on PBS kids, USA, Franny's Feet - a fantasy story of a little girl, amongst others."

The channel, which has so far used licensed international content across edutainment, humour, fantasy and action genres, is also looking at sourcing localised content and entering into co-productions.

Says Jaubin, "We are looking at localized content and co-productions, provided we have a good script and commercial feasibility."

So, with Chutti TV occupying 60 per cent of the viewership share, is there a scope for new players to enter the zone?

Answers Rangnekar, "With the right content and distribution/placement, new channels should enter this market as there is just one large competitor to target. This might be easier than entering an already fragmented market where there are two or three channels close to each other and it becomes difficult to target any one channel specifically to get viewership."

Meanwhile, Nick, which has stopped syndicating content to Chutti TV, is all geared up to speak Tamil and Telugu in the next few months.

Says Nick India VP and GM Nina Elavia Jaipuria, We have already begun working on our distribution process down South and will be available in the local languages in the next 2-3 months."

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