ToyNews can reveal that Turner Broadcasting is due to unveil changes to its portfolio of kids’ channels, which currently consists of Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Toonami, Cartoon Network Too and Boomerang +1, with Cartoonito becoming a new dedicated pre-school channel.
From 24th May Toonami will change into Cartoon Network Too, being available across Sky (602), Tiscali TV, Virgin TV and Top Up TV. Cartoon Network Too is set to feature the best Toonami shows alongside current Cartoon Network favourites.
Meanwhile Cartoonito, the pre-school block that currently airs daily on Cartoon Network Too between 6am and 3pm will become a full pre-school channel. Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Boomerang +1 will remain in their respective EPG positions.
In addition to these changes all channels will undergo a channel reface phased throughout the year, commencing with Cartoon Network, Cartoon Network Too and Cartoonito.
Dee Forbes, senior vice-president and general manager of Turner Broadcasting UK and Ireland commented: “These changes are designed to give Turner a broader kids’ proposition with an earlier entry point to our brands through the provision of a wholly pre-school channel. Our audience can now grow with our brands, from Cartoonito to Boomerang to Cartoon Network and Cartoon Network Too.”
Cartoon Network will maintain its position as the flagship kids’ channel, premiering new animated shows including Cartoon Network Originals, co-productions and acquisitions, with the most significant changes occurring on Cartoonito.
Simon Cox, vice-president of Turner Media Innovations, said: “Concentrating our preschool effort into a separate channel will result in the proliferation of our share in a sustained market. We will continue to maintain sharp focus on older demographics on our other channels, but for the first time we can make serious inroads into our competitors markets, which is an exciting prospect. Our NPD information has shown the continued growth in preschool sales, and we additionally have the benefit of close working relationships with Time Warner sister companies, including IPC and its portfolio of parenting titles. Our unique positioning allows us to offer customers both a knowledgeable and innovative approach.”
Cartoonito will continue soft learning of French in the interstitials via six unique characters called the Cartoonitos. It will also extend segments of the interstitials to introduce live action short form content, exclusively commissioned for the channel. The French elements will air between 11am and 6pm whilst the live action content with strands such as ‘Go And Get A Grown Up’ will air throughout the day, encouraging happy and fun experiences between preschoolers and parents.