Hit Entertainment has teamed up with Chellomedia to launch an international pre-school TV channel.
At the same time, Chellomedia has separately acquired JimJam, a pre-school channel which is currently available in Italy on the Sky Italia platform. Now, the two firms - and Chellomedia subsidiary Zonemedia - will launch and distribute JimJam internationally.
The launch across cable and satellite platforms in Western and Eastern Europe is scheduled for later this year, with launches in Africa and the Middle East planned from Q1 2008. Additional roll-out of the channel worldwide (excluding the US and the UK) will follow.
The JimJam channel will include several Hit properties including Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina, Barney & Friends and Pingu. The channel will also acquire high quality pre-school programming from international distributors.
Bruce Steinberg, Hit's CEO, said: "Hit's pre-school shows are eagerly watched by millions of children around the world and a significant part of our mission is to provide millions more with the opportunity to watch Thomas & Friends, Bob, Pingu, Angelina and Fireman Sam whenever they want.
"JimJam, our new venture with Chellomedia, underpins our goal as the leading global independent children's entertainment producer to deliver high quality programming around the world, helping our world-class properties to become an everyday part of children's lives."