Turner Broadcasting System is repositioning its Boomerang service as an all animation, youth-targeted network that will feature commercials in the U.S. for the first time, beginning next year. The gambit places Boomerang in the hunt for eyeballs for kids and their parents, as well as the marketing opportunities tied to co-viewing audiences.
While Boomerang, which has served as vintage complement to Turner Broadcasting's flagship kids brand, Cartoon Network, will continue to draw from a robust library of Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network and MGM theatrical shorts, series and specials, featuring such classics as Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo and The Powerpuff Girls, the network will integrate a slate of newly acquired contemporary series from around the globe.
Boomerang will also introduce a refreshed on-air environment and for the first time offer exclusive original content on the network across its 13 international feeds. All told, Boomerang counts some 250 million global subscribers, including 45.5 million in the U.S., where it launched in 2000.
The first rollout of the refreshed Boomerang occurred in Latin America on Sept. 29, and will continue Down Under in Australia on Nov. 3. The relaunch in the additional territories, including the States, will transpire in 2015. Domestically, the network became rated by Nielsen in September. The move to sell ads on Boomerang was announced in February.
With the reset, Boomerang will compete for ad sales and sponsorship opportunities with Cartoon, Viacom's Nickelodeon suite of services, as well as Disney Channel and Disney XD.
"The re-launch of Boomerang as a second flagship channel is a testament to its global appeal,” Gerhard Zeiler, president of Turner Broadcasting System, International, said in a release. “We are extremely proud to see this channel move into its next incarnation – with a look and feel that conveys its quality and contemporary position. This represents a further step in our strategy to build on the success of our international kid’s network.”
Christina Miller, who in July became president and general manager, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang (U.S.), said in the release: “Boomerang has always been a timeless favorite with multi-generational appeal. We see this as a unique opportunity to not only redefine the family co-viewing experience, but to grow and leverage our overall global kids portfolio and position it across all platforms in conjunction with Cartoon Network."
Beyond its linear presence in more than 250 million homes, Boomerang also will be supported with refreshed digital and mobile platforms, including a newly refaced website that features exclusive activities, games and content to provide a full immersion experience for all visitors. Younger fans will be able to enjoy age-appropriate free games showcasing their favorite characters, while older users can learn more about their favorite characters and series.