Disney Junior, a year-old network aimed at children, is expected to surpass Nick Jr.’s ratings when Nielsen data for the new network is revealed for the first time on Tuesday, reports The New York Times.
That’s despite the fact that Nick Jr. is available in 75 million homes, or 25% more homes than Disney Junior.
The article notes, "Disney now has the top three preschool cable programs, led by what appears to be a monster-size new hit, ‘Sofia the First,’ a cartoon that stars a pint-size princess and her zany animal friends.
"Although ad revenue is small — Disney Junior accepts limited sponsorships; Nick Jr. allows advertising aimed at mothers, but only a bit — the potential payoff in the toy aisle is huge."
Nick Jr.’s "Dora the Explorer," for example, contributes $1 billion each year in retail sales. Merchandise linked to Disney Junior shows is already growing, with Disney expecting $1.5 billion in sales during its current fiscal year.
Loyalty to Disney is also part of the plan, the story notes .
"Animated preschool shows also draw strong audiences in reruns, and some easy dubbing makes them a valuable overseas export,” the story reports. “Beyond all of this, the value of future brand loyalty is incalculable. Anne M. Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, has devised her fast-growing TV portfolio to retain children as they grow, just as Viacom tries to hook toddlers into the Nickelodeon family."