KidsCo, the joint venture channel owned by Sparrowhawk Media, DIC Entertainment and Nelvana Enterprises, goes on air across five territories today.
The channel will broadcast in Romania, Hungary, Russia, Turkey and Poland after carriage deals were signed with cable operators there. Deals have also been struck in Ukraine, where KidsCo will launch next month, and in Asia Pacific, where viewers will be able to tune in by early 2008.
It is anticipated that KidsCo will be available in up to 40 territories - including Europe and Latin America - within the next 18 months.
The multi-platform channel will be committed to providing a responsible and entertaining environment for children and families around the world. It utilises Sparrowhawk's state-of-the-art broadcast distribution facility in the US and the company's international network of affiliates.
Programming will include the likes of Inspector Gadget, Strawberry Shortcake, Dennis the Menace and Care Bears from DIC's catalogue, plus Babar, Franklin, The Adventures of Tintin and Rolie Polie Olie from Nelvana. KidsCo has also acquired programming from other major children's content suppliers after signing deals with Entertainment Rights and TV-Loonland.
"The level of enthusiasm by platforms for KidsCo has been fantastic," said MD Paul Robinson. "We knew that this was going to be a sure-fire hit because of the level of expertise of the venture partners and the outstanding content they have available."