Nickelodeon Canada set to launch

Target demos are shifting, programming is being segmented and agencies are being courted with new lead advertising options as part of the move.

Corus Entertainment, together with MTV Networks, is launching a 24-hour digital Nickelodeon channel in Canada on Nov. 2.

‘It strengthens [Corus Kids'] competitive position in Canada by having some very clearly programmed and differentiated services,’ Doug Murphy, president, EVP and GM, Corus Kids, tells MiC of the move, adding that the network plans to pitch agencies and clients directly to invite them to be lead advertisers on the new channel.

Murphy also says Nickolodeon Canada is going to be principally a kids-targeted service for the 6-11 demo, and will have a strong comedy focus and will schedule programming complimentary to the more family-targeted YTV, citing as an example the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. slot, where YTV will offer a co-view block of live action shows called Big Fun Weeknights to be led by shows such as 8 Simple Rules and Everybody Hates Chris. In the same slot, Nick will air retro ‘toon series including Rugrats, Angry Beavers and Danny Phantom. During the 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. after-school block, YTV will continue to air high-rated Nick-animated properties such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly OddParents and new series The Penguins of Madagascar, while Nick Canada will offer up live-action fare such as iCarly, Drake & Josh and The Naked Brothers Band.

‘By having a Nickelodeon channel as a category two service,’ says Murphy, ‘we can deliver a lot more Nick than we have before. Also we can provide our kid audiences a lot more live-action programming.’

The new Corus-owned, Canadian service is being launched using the YTV One World License, which Murphy explains has already been approved by the CRTC for the Nick channel. He adds that it will honour all the conditions of license per the original YTV One World license issued by the CRTC. This includes a 15% Canadian content quota, which has been met with series such as Max & Ruby, Grossology, League of Super Evil, Storm Hawks and Kid vs. Kat (Studio B Productions). The regulation also stipulates that the Canadian content be bumped up to 35% in three years, which Murphy says the channel plans to do through more acquisitions and original content production.

The channel will be a digital network that will open in 2.4 million homes, compared with YTV’s existing analogue channel, which is seen in more than 10.5 million households across Canada.

‘We think this sets the stage for some exciting conversations with advertisers,’ Murphy tells MiC, ‘especially given some of the recent data we’re seeing from some of the Portable People Meters, which is going to benefit our co-view strategies on the Corus Kids networks. ‘

With files from Kidscreen Daily