Sky One is investing in a children’s TV strand to be sold
separately by the former Nickelodeon sales team.
Nickelodeon sales director Steve Warwick will head the team once the
contract for Nickelodeon moves to MTV on 31 December.
Sky discovered it had lost the sales contracts for Nickelodeon and the
Paramount Channel three weeks ago. Since then it has been buying
children’s programmes and transforming Sky One into a children’s channel
to pull in revenue from this market.
Temporarily named Sky Kids, the new strand will be similar in style to
CITV and will broadcast children’s shows at specified slots throughout
the week and on weekend mornings.
The most successful children’s programme on Sky One is Pokemon.
Sky Kids aims to move away from an emphasis on boy viewers to embrace a
wider family audience.
However, insiders suggest the commercial team at Fox Kids are perturbed
by the latest decision.
’Fox Kids never really competed with Nickelodeon because it was girl
oriented but Sky One’s plans mean it will move into our boyish market
and things will become a lot more competitive,’ said a Fox Kids
A standalone Sky children’s channel would not be feasible at this stage
because while the company owns a 50 per cent share in Nickelodeon, it
stands to gain from the high revenue guarantee made by MTV to cover
shareholders’ interests over the next couple of years.
Sky’s team is likely to handle Nickelodeon until the handover to MTV,
overseeing outstanding bookings and administration.
An insider at Sky said it made sense for the Nickelodeon team to
continue selling on Sky One because it understood the market.
’It’s a shrewd move because the children’s strand on Sky will have an
established audience and you don’t get into the complicated discussion
of trying to launch another channel,’ the source commented.
Sky Kids should launch by the start of 2001 but Sky will start pitching
to agencies in the autumn.
MTV has yet to comment on how it intends to sell Nickelodeon to