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JumpTV leaps into kids content

Toronto, Canada-based JumpTV is hoping to revamp its internet broadcast business to further tap into the market for multi-lingual television across the globe. And it's looking for kids content to amp up its service.
October 1, 2006

Toronto, Canada-based JumpTV is hoping to revamp its internet broadcast business to further tap into the market for multi-lingual television across the globe. And it’s looking for kids content to amp up its service.

The concept is to stream live non-linear feeds to what chairman and CEO G. Scott Paterson calls the ‘Diaspora of immigrants’ around the world who desire to watch programming in their mother tongue but don’t have access to it. The site jumptv.com launched five years ago, but is currently gearing up for a re-launch this month that will augment the service with increased content, as well as VOD and pay-per-view capabilities.

So far, the publicly traded company has signed 212 channel agreements in 65 different countries. All of the deals include a clause prohibiting transmission of the broadcasts in the country of origin. The site offers channels originating anywhere from Albania to Venezuela and points in between.

In conjunction with the October launch of JumpTV 3.0, the company has acquired the broadcast rights for the Portuguese-language version of London-based HIT Entertainment’s Bob the Builder and four shows from Toronto’s Cookie Jar Entertainment including Paddington Bear and Mona the Vampire.

Children’s programming will play a big part in JumpTV’s future, Paterson says, because families often want to sustain their traditional language at home and what better way than through the simple and straightforward communication in animated kids shows.

‘People who want to learn a language often do it by watching children’s programming,’ he says. ‘The simple words, slow speaking, it really works.’ The goal right now is to test the market with the initial kids lineup and then search out more content from there.

In its last quarterly report, the company had 18,000 subscribers throughout 80 countries. The number may be deceptively low as all marketing and promotional plans have been on hold until the launch of the new version.

A monthly subscription costs US$9.95 for one channel with packages available for US$20, however, prices for the new version including VOD and pay-per-view have not yet been set. GR

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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