Television

Kermit goes off the air; Hallmark, Modi Entertainment may launch family channel

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Kermit Channel has ceased transmission in India, the only market where the children's channel was still distributed in Asia.

Crown Media Holdings, the Los Angeles-based company which transmits Kermit, had been in discussions with Modi Entertainment Network (MEN) for pay TV signals throughout India, about a possible joint venture to leverage Kermit's subscriber base for additional distribution and advertising revenue.

Both companies have now taken a mutual decision not to proceed further.

Following this development, MEN is in active talks with Hallmark Entertainment Network for the possible launch of a new channel targeting family audiences.

If that doesn't work out, some sort of an alliance is definitely on the cards, according to sources.

Crown ceased broadcasting Kermit in all other Asian markets in November. Instead, six hours of dedicated programming for kids was added daily to the Hallmark feed. Three hours midmorning and three in the afternoon. The company now will take the same approach in India.

The decision to pull out Kermit from India was apparently taken by EM TV of Germany. EM holds the controlling stake in the channel after it bought out Kermit creator Jim Henson's 50% holding.

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