Television

Comcast eyeing 24-hr network for kids

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MUMBAI: Catch them young! US-based Comcast Corporation is contemplating a network exclusively for kids.

The cable giant is in an advanced state of negotiations with Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Sesame Street Workshop and HIT Entertainment - a United Kingdom-based company producing children's programming - to develop the 24-hour network dedicated to pre-school kids.

A report in the Wall Street Journal says that the yet-to-be- named network would carry no commercials and would have rights to Sesame Street Workshop's shows, Barney and Friends, Sesame Street, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine.

According to the report, all four partners in the venture Comcast, PBS, Sesame Street Workshop and HIT Entertainment would own stakes in the new digital network. The biggest stake, however, would go to Comcast as will the content rights. Comcast and some of the other partners would contribute an undisclosed amount of cash to fund the new venture.

Interestingly, Walt Disney, that owns Cartoon Network, has also been toying with the idea of launching a channel aimed at pre-schoolers.

Comcast channel could be facing stiff competition from Viacom Inc.'s (VIA) Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.

The report speculates that the deal could be finalised within weeks and that the network could launch sometime next year.

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