Paris: Conducted between November and December 1999 and released at the start of MIP-TV 2000, Mediamétrie’s annual survey Audicabsat on French cable and satellite channels ratings for 1999 confirms that children are still the primary consumers of dedicated channels. While the marketshare of theme channels for kids ages four and up has increased 2% to 31% compared to 28.9% in 1998, kids channels reach a 50.2% marketshare of children ages four to 14 and even surpass terrestrial networks within the four to 10 demo with a 56.6% marketshare. Only TF1 remains a leader with 24% audience share of the four to 14 crowd and 21.3% of the four to 10 demo.
In such a competitive environment, venerable Canal J, which last year had shifted back to third position, doubled its audience share to take the pole position on all targets. With 11.5% market share of the four to 14 set and 13.8% of the four to 10 group, it passes Disney Channel (7.4%/8.8%), as well as last year’s first choice for the four to 10 set Teletoon (7.2%/10.4%), Fox Kids (4%/5.6%) and Cartoon Network (3.2%/4.7%). For the 11 to 14 target, Canal J is also in the first position with 8%, ahead of Disney (5.4%).
Canal J’s jump is a direct result of major rebranding and repositioning efforts focussed on the seven to 12 core demo, which started last fall. According to Pierre Bellaisch, head of programming, ‘the schedules, which now focus on action-adventure animation such as Godzilla, series and sitcoms as well as the live show Faut que ça saute and games, are more interactive and directly related to children’s preoccupations.’ Canal J has stopped some of its in-house productions and lessened the numbers of preschool and documentary co-productions and acquisitions.