Coming off a year of record-breaking profits, London-based Entertainment Rights is continuing its drive for global expansion. While the acquisitions team has been busy expanding ER’s library in an effort to crack into the American market (see ‘ER uses American icons to springboard into the U.S. market,’ page 15), the sales team has posted a raft of international sales for both proprietary and third-party properties. ER CEO Mike Heap says that picking up older-skewing fare such as Hasbro’s Duel Masters (ShoPro) has given the company a more comprehensive portfolio to offer buyers. Heap says ER will continue adding to its library, which already contains more than 1,700 hours of programming.
Cartoon Network is responsible for a large chunk of ER’s most recent sales, picking up more than 80 hours for its new channels launching in the Asia Pacific region. Cartoon Network India bought a medley of preschool favorites including Little Red Tractor (The Little Entertainment Company), as well as Hasbro’s Transformers Armada (Aeon Inc. and SD Entertainment) and Mattel’s Barbie in the Nutcracker and Barbie as Rapunzel (Mainframe). Cartoon Network Asia Pacific, meanwhile, went for boys action shows Duel Masters and Transformers Armada, along with the Barbie movies. Turner Broadcasting System Europe also picked up Duel Masters, which will now air on more than 30 million screens across Europe (Cartoon Network) and the U.K. (Toonami).
ER found homes for another 100 hours of programming in Eastern Europe, including Minimax, Polsat and TVP (Poland), which picked up the three Barbie movies, Transformers Armada and Dr. Otter (Ealing Animation and Red Balloo). In France, TPS Jeunesse bought 70 hours of programming, Canal J grabbed Duel Masters, and Canal Plus stocked up on preschool fare for its new block serving that demo. Postman Pat and Little Red Tractor have been snapped up by Danmarks Radio in Denmark, NRK TV in Norway, YLE in Finland and Icelandic National TV.
Nickelodeon signed on for live-action series My Parents are Aliens and Little Red Tractor in both the Commonwealth of Independent States and Central Eastern Europe, as well as picking up several shows for its Middle Eastern feed. And in South Africa, SABC2 picked up rights to Transformers Energon and Duel Masters.