HIT Entertainment and Chellomedia are combining forces to launch an international preschool channel on the heels of Chellomedia’s acquisition of JimJam, the leading preschool channel in Italy. And the plan moving forward is to roll out the JimJam brand to an international audience.
The new channel will launch across cable and satellite platforms in Western and Eastern Europe later this year, with a rollout to Africa and the Middle East scheduled for Q1 2008. Other territories, excluding the US and UK, will follow sometime after that.
Under the joint venture, Chellomedia, which operates 23 branded TV channels across Europe, will combine subsidiary Zonemedia’s expertise in international channel distribution and management with HIT’s well-known IP. Expect to see Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder and Barney & Friends taking prominent spots in the channel lineup. That said, the channel is also looking to acquire a slew of preschool programming from international distributors. Details on who’s heading up those efforts have yet to be announced.