Cartoon Network: The Indian Experience

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR035
Case Length : 10 Pages
Period : 1999 - 2002
Organization : Cartoon Network
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : India
Industry : Media and Entertainment

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Cartoon Network in India

Prior to Cartoon Network's entry, Indian TV viewers could see cartoons only during a few time-slots on the state-owned Doordarshan and some other satellite TV channels. The channel realized that it would have to build cartoon/animation viewership virtually from scratch.

In addition, it had the task of building its brand equity amidst the clutter of numerous satellite TV channels (Refer Exhibit II). However, as there were no established players, it was not very difficult for Cartoon Network to get itself registered in the viewer's mind as a channel synonymous with cartoons. Gradually, children across the country tuned in to the channel, and Cartoon Network established itself as a major player in the Indian satellite TV market. Soon, the globally popular cartoons became household names in the country. The entry of other players into the market during the late 1990s resulted in intense competition. Kermit and Nickelodeon, leading children's channels entered India in 1999 and soon garnered impressive viewership figures. The Star, Zee, and SAB TV networks also started airing cartoons during specific time-slots...

All's Not Well in Toonland

To succeed in this competitive environment, Cartoon Network worked out a broad strategy that emphasized on 'localization' and marketing. It localized the content by dubbing its cartoons in Hindi (January 1999) to appeal to the Hindi-speaking audiences. The first dubbed program, 'Toon Tamasha,' was received very well.

The channel then started offering Hindi versions of various popular cartoons. By February 2000, Cartoon Network was offering nine hours of Hindi programming every day. Taking its localization efforts further, the channel introduced Tamil-dubbed shows in February 2000. Kathy McClaure, Vice President Programming, Turner Network, Asia, said, "The bringing in of Tamil-dubbed cartoons is to further reinforce Cartoon Network's commitment to bring localized programming." Hindi and Tamil dubbing was done in collaboration with Indian TV software production house UTV. Some of the cartoon shows that were dubbed in Hindi and Tamil were Scooby Doo, Flintstones, Swat Kats, The Mask, The Addam's Family, Johnny Quest and Captain Planet (Refer Exhibit III for some of the channel's famous cartoon characters)...


Exhibit I: About Animated Cartoons
Exhibit II: A Note on the Indian TV Market
Exhibit III: Cartoon Network's Famous Cartoons


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