On the heels of breaking news that Corus Entertainment together with MTV Networks is launching a 24-hour digital Nick channel in Canada on November 2, KidScreen spoke with EVP and GM of Corus Kids, Doug Murphy, to get the scoop on just how Nick Canada will co-exist with Corus’ YTV.
Murphy says Nick Canada will be aimed at kids six to 11, with a strong comedy focus and will schedule programming complimentary to the more family-targeted YTV.
For example, Murphy says in the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. slot, 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, we can deliver them a lot more Nick than we have before. Also we can provide our kid audiences a lot more live action programming,’ says Murphy.
The new Corus-owned, wholly 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 honor 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 and Grossology (Nelvana), League of Super Evil and Storm Hawks (Nerd Corps) 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.
‘It will start off small but will grow being such a strong brand,’ says Murphy. ‘We’ll give more clarity on how it’s going to be positioned and priced in the coming weeks as we near the launch date.’
Nick Canada will be ad-supported and sold as part of the package of all Corus kids networks, as well as managed by the existing Corus Kids management team. Murphy says there will also be opportunities for advertisers in Canada to be sponsoring or lead advertisers on the service.