Five things on our radar this month

From Google Fiber striking a major content deal with Disney to Nickelodeon aiming to rebound in the ratings with its more than a dozen new commissions including the re-vamped version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, here's the latest on some hot topics impacting the kids entertainment biz.
October 1, 2012

1. Google Fiber nabs Disney
Google’s much ballyhooed Fiber internet service has struck a major content deal with Disney that will bring Disney Channel, ABC Family, ABC New Now, Soapnet and ESPN to the nascent TV service. Fiber will offer a 1 GBPS symmetrical connection for US$70 a month. Admittedly we don’t know exactly what that means, but we’ll assume it’s geek speak for very, very fast. Additionally, the service is offering around 200 TV channels. However, the mighty Google has yet to strike content deals with the likes of HBO and Fox. Rollout is also proceeding cautiously, with Fiber being made available in only one test market right now—Kansas City, Missouri.

2. Nick woes over?
Nickelodeon’s ratings are having an adverse affect on the overall health of its parentco Viacom, according to a report from Pivotal Research Group. It found the net has “lost a substantial number of viewers,” and that Viacom reported a 7% dip in Q2 ad revenue. The kidsnet, however, is fighting back. It’s commissioned more than a dozen new series to lure viewers, including the re-vamped version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Might the raucous reptiles save the day, dude?

3. Facebook’s grey is showing
It seems that things haven’t gone Facebook’s way since its underwhelming IPO. The social media site is flagging, especially with younger users. According to comScore data, use among the12 to 17 and 18 to 24 demos has dropped 42% and 25%, respectively. Facebook plans to amp up its mobile offerings to address the issue. However, it has to contend with its most recent purchase first, Instagram. The photo site, with 100 million users, is finding Facebook’s young friends in droves.

4. DreamWorks’ big ambition
Sending a clear message to competitors, DreamWorks Animation, with new distribution partner 20th Century Fox, announced its 2013 to 2016 slate. It includes a whopping 12 feature-film releases, marking the most ambitious schedule for an animation studio in Hollywood’s history. We bet the studio has Pixar’s attention now.

5. Will U buy it?
Nintendo has finally announced that its much anticipated Wii U dual-screen gaming console’s basic model will retail for US$300, and US$350 for the premium edition. Both will debut on November 18 (North America), November 30 (Europe) and December 8 (Japan). With presales already sold out at US retailers like Best Buy and Target, there’s a good chance the Wii U will be hard to find come Christmas.

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