Toronto-based Entertainment One (eOne) has appointed South Korean free-to-air broadcaster EBS as the licensing agent for its flagship preschool property Peppa Pig in the region. Under the agreement, EBS will manage the consumer products program for the brand.
Earlier this year, EBS picked up seasons five, six and seven (all of which are 52 x five minutes) of eOne’s flagship property Peppa Pig. The broadcaster, which already holds the rights in the region to the first three seasons, began airing the episodes in May.
Global entertainment company Hasbro entered an agreement to acquire eOne for US$4 billion this past August, which is expected to close in Q4 2019. If the acquisition goes through the toymaker will take ownership of eOne’s entire film and TV production slate, and plans to move a significant portion of the prodco’s toy business in-house.
Earlier this month eOne reported a 7% decrease in revenue to US$219.4 million in Q1 2019, compared to the same time last year. The production company attributes the decline to its film, TV and music business due to lower broadcast and licensing revenues. The company’s powerhouse family and brands business meanwhile dipped to US$38.6 million in revenue, compared to US$39.2 million in Q1 2018. It’s full year revenue for fiscal 2018 dropped to US$1.19 billion from last year, with growth in its family and brands business being offset by reduced revenue on the film side.
In the face of these overall declines, eOne has been busy signing deals for its family and brands business this year. The company sold its CGI-animated series Ricky Zoom (52 x 11 minutes) to Viacom-owned UK broadcasters Nick Jr. and Channel 5′s preschool block Milkshake!, as well as international broadcasters Minika Cocuk (Turkey), free-to-air channels Karusel (Russia) and Spacetoon Kids’ (MENA) to air in 2019 and 2020.
In June, the company also hired former Disney exec Kate Morton to the newly created role of director of content strategy at eOne’s family and brands division. Morton is responsible for planning, communicating and coordinating the programming strategy for the company’s global linear and non-linear content rollout.
On the licensing front the entertainment company locked in new licensing deals for its PJ Masks and Peppa Pig brands last month. TOMY, Tefal, Star Editions, Signature PG, and Merch by Amazon all signed on to release new products that will roll out in the fall. For the holiday season, eOne locked in deals with Save the Children, Penguin and the Entertainer for Christmas-themed Peppa Pig licensing. Edinburgh-based footwear company Hunter partnered with the company to create a limited-edition collection of footwear and accessories, in February.