Having launched in May 2006 on Dish Network and DirecTV in the US, 24-hour infant/caregiver net BabyFirstTV has just signed a new deal with Showtime Arabia to beam into Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Algiers.
The channel will be available for free to Showtime Arabia subscribers, and programming will continue to air in English. ‘They want it that way,’ says BabyFirst TV executive VP Sharon Rechter. ‘It is a great tool for kids to learn the language.’
BabyFirst TV is currently available in 59 million households in the US and Mexico, and some 8.4 million UK homes via satellite broadcaster BskyB.
With hundreds of hours in its programming portfolio, which includes Brainy Baby(Brainy Baby Productions), Danny and Daddy (distributed by Neptuno Films) and Baby Songs (Baby Songs), Rechter says BabyFirst has sparked interest at 10 additional broadcast platforms, and she’ll have more distribution deals to announce in the coming weeks. Rechter will also be travelling to MIPTV later this month to pick up more infant-appropriate content.
With broadcast carriage picking up, the net is turning an eye to ancillary revenue streams and starting to explore L&M opps that will extend the BabyFirstTV brand into retail.