Noggin Saves Special for VOD

In a rare video-on-demand premiere of a network-produced show, kid-targeted Noggin will launch a holiday movie via Comcast Corp.’s free-video-on-demand platform two weeks before it airs on the network.

The premiere of animated movie Franklin’s Magic Christmas is part of a major holiday-themed “Warm and Fuzzy” programming and marketing campaign that the two parties have created to increase awareness of Noggin and of VOD, executives from both companies said.

Comcast will debut the one-hour original movie on its kids-targeted VOD package Nov. 29, and the MSO will make it available exclusively to its approximately 13 million VOD-enabled subscribers through the movie’s Dec. 13 Noggin debut, according to MTV Networks president of affiliate sales and marketing Nicole Browning.

The show will air as part of Noggin’s current five-hour VOD package, currently running on Comcast’s on-demand platform. The service includes episodes of such Noggin shows as Miffy, according to Browning.

In addition to Franklin’s Magic Christmas, the network will also feature holiday-oriented episodes of such Noggin-based shows as Miffy, Connie the Cow and Tiny Planets, although only Franklin will be exclusive to VOD.

Neither Browning nor Comcast vice president of marketing for new video products Page Thompson would estimate how many subscribers would order the Franklin movie. But Browning said she hopes the VOD airing will spur increased viewership of the linear network.

If the VOD experiment proves successful, Browning said the network would “contemplate” offering other programs for premiere on VOD in the near future, both with Comcast and other affiliates.

The network is also talking with Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable about potential VOD experiments, she said.

For more on Noggin’s VOD movie debut, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page one of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.