The Australian Boardcasting Corporation (ABC). Has acquired the rights to over 60 hours of programming from HIT Entertainment's portfolio of children's shows. The deal extends to home entertainment and digital, with ABC getting the rights to over 290 hours of HIT's pre-school shows.
ABC TV now has the exclusive Australian broadcast rights to all series of Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu and new property Mike the Knight.
The deal also provides ABC TV with Home Entertainment and Digital rights to all the above series, plus a further 180 episodes of Barney.
Antonio Huab, SVP, Thomas Asia-Pacific, HIT Entertainment, said: "ABC TV's significant commitment to HIT properties and to bringing quality children’s programming to kids and families in Australia is evident by the vast number of programming hours and episodes that they have acquired, and is testimony to the continued popularity of HIT's beloved characters in the region.
He continued: "We're thrilled with the performance to date of our series on ABC TV, including the most recent CG-animated Thomas series which enjoyed a ratings lift of 47 per cent and we are excited to expand HIT’s presence with the addition of other new properties, including the exciting Mike the Knight set to launch later this year."
Barbara Uecker, head of ABC TV's children's programming and acquisitions, said: "ABC TV has a long standing relationship with HIT Entertainment and we are thrilled to be the Australian home for Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu and Mike the Knight."