With 26 children's channels available in the UK, a blunderbuss approach is more likely to capture those young viewers at any time on any channel.
Previously the art of "scheduling" would have researched the time when children were most available to view. In turn the best shows were placed there to capture the eyes, mind and imagination of children. Television is no longer like that.
Allow me to remind you some of the key programme placements from the days when scheduling childrens shows was an art:
BBC 1 17:50 Mon –Fri: The Magic Roundabout/Hector's House
Southern TV (ITV) Sunday circa 17:00: Catweazle
TV am Mon-Fri 07:20: Popeye/Super Mario Brothers
BBC 1 Sundays circa 17:00: The Railway Children.
Strategically the shorts were placed to bridge between kid/adult viewing, in addition the BBC would often pepper their schedule with Tom and Jerry shorts in prime time. Nowadays children are assumed to be available to view at any time from 6am, hence the plethora of channels and platforms that set out to reach them.
However, even scheduling in the current multi-channel environment will become increasingly difficult. A new assault on the TV market from Google and Microsoft will trigger the next big move towards convergence.
Consider that 76.5 per cent of UK homes own at least one PC. Meanwhile over in the US, more than 900,000 US homes rely solely on the internet for their TV; some 15m internet TVs were shipped in 2009, while 100m Internet TVs are forecast to be shipped by 2013.
Earlier attempts to marry the Web and TV have failed, however, Microsoft's launch of Kinect for Xbox 360 this November is aimed as much at TV viewers as it is gamers.
Google has also declared its intention to create a service for viewers to search the internet as well as TV channels, giving access to libraries of online content on TV. If UK consumers adopt these services, television as we know it will become so advanced that a new name for it may well emerge. So how will this impact on the scheduling of children's TV shows and measurement of viewers?
In search of the answer I thought I would return to The Magic Roundabout. Back in the late sixties the show and its French creator Serge Danot allegedly had its own magic moments of inspiration.
In a former leather mill tanning factory in Clisson, just south of Nantes, lives everything Magic Roundabout from the last 40 years.
The set is still lit, all of the characters are as new and every one of the 500 episodes from 1964 to 1971 stored in an aluminium can.
By pure coincidence I had rented a Villa from the fourth wife of the late Serge Danot who now owns all rights. The pictures serve as a fond memory of an iconic kids show that the BBC favoured with a peak time prime slot across the five weekdays.
That's kids’ scheduling at its best.
Former chairman of the childrens’ programme management group at GMTV, Clive Crouch has now launched his own media consultancy Clive Crouch Media Insight.