Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner expressed a level of satisfaction with kids' network the Hub on Monday as the channel enters its fourth month on the air. With the kids' upfront market approaching, the Hub has launched a trade campaign, noting the premiere of new episodes of the animated "Transformers: Prime" this week.
Goldner said the network has 80 advertisers -- up from 50 at launch, and most had not advertised on Discovery Kids, the Hub's predecessor.
By one measure, the Hub is averaging 133,000 viewers in prime time, behind the 2.7 million at Disney and 1.7 million at Nick at Nite. In fairness, both competitors have considerably higher distribution and have been around for years, building their audiences. The Hub launched Oct. 10 and is in more than 60 million homes.
Goldner said on an earnings call that Hasbro "continue(s) to be encouraged with the initial results" for the Hub, and he cited figures showing a strong performance in a co-viewing metric, where parents and kids watch together. The company said the marketing investments behind the network have been effective, and outlays should continue this year.
In prime time Monday-Fridays, the Hub airs reruns of comedies "Family Ties," "The Wonder Years," "Doogie Howser, M.D." and "Happy Days." On Fridays, it offers "Family Game Night." During days, it targets different segments of kids 2 to 11 depending on the time slot.
Hasbro and Discovery each own half of the network and other Hub properties. In 2010, with start-up costs, Hasbro lost $9.3 million on the venture.
For toy company Hasbro, which owns brands such as "Transformers," "G.I. Joe" and "My Little Pony," 2010 was a difficult year. as revenues in the U.S. and Canada fell 6% to $2.3 billion. Operating profit was down 8% to $350 million.