Marketing

Catering to Kids: Cable Networks Divide to Conquer

3/21/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Competition among kids' television channels has never been hotter than it is right
now. Last October, Discovery Communications
transformed its underperforming
Discovery Kids into The Hub
with a joint-venture partner, Hasbro,
providing much of the content. More
recently, The Walt Disney Co. laid the
groundwork for a new preschoolers’
channel, Disney Junior, by debuting a
rebranded block on the flagship Disney
Channel that will expand into a
full-fledged network next year (replacing
SoapNet).

“I think it’s harder today to be a
new channel,” said Cyma Zarghami,
president of, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids
and Family Group, one of the
heavyweights in the category. But
the rivalry doesn’t appear to daunt
anyone. Sandy Wax, president of
Sprout, notes that the United Kingdom
currently supports more than 30
children’s channels.

Cover_Story_Image_03/21“We know that kids have a bottomless
appetite for good entertainment,
not unlike their parents,” added
Margaret Loesch, president and CEO of
The Hub.

“It makes us stay on top of our
game,” Stuart Snyder, president and
chief operating officer, animation,
young adults and kids media, at Cartoon
Network said of the burgeoning
category.

That’s undoubtedly why networks
such as Cartoon Network, Disney Channel
and Nickelodeon have made huge
commitments to new shows recently, as
is made clear in the preceding stories
in this report — and in the chart that
follows.

To help readers navigate the changing
landscape of kids’ television, contributor
Janet Stilson has compiled the following
roadmap of multichannel children’s programmers.

To see a comprehensive guide to kids' TV on cable, click here.

MUL_Kids SpecialChart

September