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Anchor Bay digs up fresh acquisitions capital
June 1, 2005

Anchor Bay digs up fresh acquisitions capital

U.S. home entertainment distributor Anchor Bay Entertainment has pulled together US$50 million in credit, some of which will be used to pick up new kids DVD content. The cash injection comes from a group of financiers led by J.P. Morgan Bank, and VP of family acquisitions Alisha Serold says it will enable Anchor Bay to increase the number of new titles it takes on; the company averaged about one a month last quarter.

Serold says her wishlist runs the gamut from preschool, to animation for early teens and live-action programming. Because the DVD market has seen a steady influx of new players and content, pre-existing brand awareness is a must for every genre except preschool, where it’s easier to orchestrate a successful grassroots launch. Projects in all stages of development are welcome, even those with no production companies attached. And since Anchor Bay is closely tied to IDT Entertainment’s other subsidiaries, such as Mainframe Entertainment and Film Roman, Serold can pass forward properties that may warrant expansion into other media.

Tickle U schools mommies too

In an effort to endear its new Tickle U preschool programming block to moms, Cartoon Network will be talking to them directly on-screen. The channel is adding what it calls The Mommy Bar – a series of subtitles running at the bottom of the screen that provide information about how humor can help a child’s development – to all of its preschool shows.

The packaged clips will include tips on activity tie-ins for kids, content cues about what’s coming up in the show, and running time reminders outlining how long each program has to go (so moms will know if they can squeeze in an extra cup of coffee). Tickle U launches in August, airing weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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