's Kidology
Spacetoon in talks with broadcasters to re-launch branded block; bags licensing & merchandising rights for 'Doraemon' Team
(10 July 2007 8:00 pm)

MUMBAI: Dubai-based Spacetoon Media International Group is looking to bring back its targeted children's branded block after it went off air from Sahara One in September 2006.

The company has initiated talks with mainstream channels to relaunch the one-hour Spacetoon block. This includes two Southern channels, one Hindi GEC and one Sri Lankan channel.

"We are looking to introduce the Spacetoon branded block on a few channels and are in talks with several channels including two in the Southern region. An announcement to this effect is expected soon," confirms Spacetoon CEO Rajiv Sangari on the sidelines of a press conference.

In 2005, the company had inked a deal with Sahara One Television for a branded kids block titled Sahara One - Spacetoon Hour.

Meanwhile, Kids Media India (KMI), a company under the Spacetoon Media entity, has acquired the licensing and merchandising rights for the television property Doraemon from Animation International for three years. The company is looking to aggressively promote this property in India and other Saarc countries.

The property, which is in its third season, is one of the key drivers for the local children's channel that was acquired by The Walt Disney Company last year, Hungama TV. Doraemon merchandise will be unveiled in January 2008 as the company is currently in talks with potential licensees in India. Animation International also owns another top property aired on Hungama TV, Shinchan.

The Doraemon property will cut across product categories starting with publishing and stationary like activity kits and short story books, accessories, gifts and novelties, apparel and inner wear. Comic books will be added to the product portfolio later.

Across the three year term, KMI is looking to extend the property to mobile content and the online domain, home furnishing, perfumes, time wear etc. Marketing deals with FMCG companies, food chains companies, telecomm and automobile firms are on the anvil to promote the property here.

KMI will also organize meet and greet events through school activities, mall tours and back to school events. Sangari said, "The Doraemon character will be immediately available throughout the country for licensing for use by book publishers, children's apparel manufacturers, toys and games, accessories, footwear, watches, party goods, stationery, gifts and other such consumer products. We are pleased to represent Animation International in India and Saarc region since they have one of the best portfolios of animated properties in this part of the world. We are looking forward to this long term working relationship and are quite positive of its success in India."

"The new season of Doraemon will be seen this July on Hungama television at 4:30 P.M prime slot," said Kids Media India licensing and merchandising head Pallavi Gaur. "We are looking at at least a dozen licensees in the country drawn from various segments, in the first year itself. We are bullish on the prospects, and expect the number of Licensees to grow by 100 per cent over the following two-three years. We will be focusing on promotional licensing and events to have nationwide visibility. We believe that Doraemon and other characters that we are offering will be extremely popular."

Animation International president Hiroshi Kondo said, "India with its growing entertainment industry represents a wonderful opportunity for us. Add to that, the fact that Doraemon is already a well recognized character here. We have been looking for the right way to enter the market and I feel that working with Kids Media represents the best approach for us, both immediately and in the long-term. Through our partners, we will be introducing Indian children to Doraemon, and hope to bring in many other characters over time."

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