Corporate News

Cartoon Network rolls out HD channel

Posted on January 19, 2012

TURNER Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc., the company that operates cable channel Cartoon Network, has chosen the Philippines to be the first to experience its high-definition (HD) channel in the region, given the popularity of the network’s cartoon characters to Filipino kids, officials at a briefing yesterday said.

The Philippines will be the first country in the region to experience The Looney Tunes Show in high-definition. --
Lucien M. Harrington, the company’s vice-president for branding and communications, said the channel’s popularity among Filipino kids led them to launch the HD channel in the country.

“One, we have great partners here like SKYcable. Secondly, Filipino kids really love Cartoon Network, they really appreciate our content, like Ben (of Ben 10) is incredibly popular here,” Mr. Harrington said.

The Cartoon Network HD channel will be available on Jan. 20 through SKYcable at a package price pegged at P1,199. It will broadcast on channel 178 and complement the existing standard definition offering on channel 43, according to a press statement.

Claudia G. Suarez, programming head of Sky Cable Corp., said the subscription would come in a separate cable box.

She added that Cartoon Network fares well in terms of audience share among cable channels.

“If there are 150 cable channels, Cartoon Network is in the top 5, and the top 3 would be movie channels,” Ms. Suarez said during the briefing.

Mr. Harrington said the company will be focusing first in the Philippines, but it will be launching the HD channel in other countries during the year.

“We will just focus first on the Philippines but we will be going to launch it to other countries. We are looking across Asia but the focus is on Southeast Asia,” he said.

The Cartoon Network HD channel was first launched in October 2007 in the United States.

Meanwhile, the officials are optimistic that the HD platform will further push the channel’s audience share and the company’s retail business.

The company, through Cartoon Network Enterprises, Inc., manufactures products including toys, gaming consoles, home entertainment, accessories, clothing, footwear, and stationery.

“Content really drives the business, that’s why we will be having additional line-up for 2012,” James S. Moore, Turner Broadcasting System’s senior public relations manager, noting that the channel’s high-definition content will drive the company’s business.

He also added that the children-oriented business is a “recession-free industry.”

“It’s a very recession-free industry, and the products also. [Sales] go up and up,” he said. “These days, people are having less kids, but they still have the same number of grandparents and relatives to give them gifts, and income increases.”

Mr. Harrington said the highdefinition channel is a big investment for the company. He, however, declined to give figures.

“This is an important landmark for us. We want to be in the cutting edge of technology and entertainment. We have made an important investment in HD,” he said.

Cartoon Network HD will feature shows such as The Amazing World of Gumball, Ben 10, The Looney Tunes Show and Dragon Ball Z Kai. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon