EM.TV’s Junior kids and teens brand is pushing into Spain, Portugal and Latin America as the uber media company enters into a 50/50 joint venture with Barcelona-based Grupo Planeta, a formidable publishing company with interests in Spanish digital platform Quiero TV and Tele 5. The two companies intend to launch a Planeta-Junior channel on a pay-TV service, as well as creating a Planeta-Junior block on a commercial network. Both TV ventures will feature programming from the 30,000-episode Junior library and any content that’s acquired or produced by the two companies in the future. The commitment adds up to 80 products to be launched under the Planeta-Junior umbrella over the next five years. The joint venture will also seek ways to mine the ancillary categories of publishing, video and merchandising.
EM.TV also inked an exclusive, three-year deal with Dublin-based caster TG4 to air the Junior program portfolio on Free-TV Ireland. The deal involves 600 half hours of kids and family programming that includes The Jim Henson Company shows.
French dedicated channel Télétoon has also signed a multiyear output agreement for original animation programming with EM.TV. Télétoon will exclusively broadcast 15 new series in France as well as 18 others chosen from EM.TV’s catalog. For the year 2000, Télétoon has picked up Twipsy, the animated series Cybermessenger, Rainbow Fish, 3-D series Wierd-Ohs as well as Flipper and Lopaka. Through this deal, Télétoon will have access to a wide range of international and European series since EM.TV has committed to produce 20 new projects each year. Télétoon is continuing to invest in new French series, and just signed up for the co-production of Cartouche, a 26 x 26-minute action/adventure series from Storimage set in the 17th century. The sword-fighting series is slated for an early 2001 delivery.