Sony Pictures Television Networks is set to debut its first Italian free-to-air kids channel, Pop.
Targeting boys and girls ages six to nine, Pop Italy will bow on May 4. The channel is a rebrand of Neko TV (LCN 45), following SPTN’s acquisition from Television Broadcasting System, and will broadcast exclusive first-run comedies and action-based shows including Kuu Kuu Harajuku (pictured), Wild Kratts and The Insectibles. Other launch titles headed to the channel include Power Rangers Ninja Steel, Transformers and The Deep.
New originals are also planned for the Italian Pop, as Sony will be working with local production companies. In fact, the company has already partnered with Maga Animation on a series of short-form animated interstitials.
Pop Italy will also be supported by a website featuring interactive games, Pop’s exclusive Artpad and a diverse selection of videos.
In addition, Viacom International Media Networks’ Pubblicità & Brand Solutions has been appointed as the advertising sales partner for SPTN’s new Italian free-to-air channels, and media company Persidera has signed a deal to provide DTT capacity.
Since launching in the UK in 2003, Pop has become part of the UK’s number-one commercial kids channel portfolio.
In additional global growth, Sony Pictures Network India is set to premiere its new kids channel Sony YAY! on April 18. Aimed at kids two to 14, the channel will feature four homegrown original animated shows for Indian kids—musical comedy Guru Aur Bhole, animal-based Sab Jholmaal Hai, adventure series Prince Jai Aur Dumdaar Viru and comedy Paap-O-Meter.
YAY! will be available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages across direct-to-home (DTH) and digital cable platforms.