BBC's 'In The Night Garden' makes progress in China

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of UK pubcaster the BBC, has announced the launch of a magazine, a range of books and a DVD partner for the pre-school programme, In the Night Garden, in China.

The announcement of commercial plans for the brand follows the programme‘s debut on Chinese Central Television (CCTV) on 13 May.In the Night Garden is produced by Ragdoll Productions, the creators of Teletubbies. It tells the story of a magical picture-book place where a diverse community of toys live out their comical adventures together. A huge ratings and commercial success in the UK, In the Night Garden is now rolling out across the world.

Licensing agent U Young has been appointed to develop a comprehensive licensing programme across categories in China for the show.

BBC Worldwide Children‘s and Licensing MD Neil Ross Russell says, "We‘ve seen great success to date in the UK and in markets like Canada, Australia and Spain in bringing the characters and stories from In the Night Garden to life across DVD, publishing, magazines and merchandise. Now, we‘re delighted to be able to celebrate our partnerships with Chinese businesses CCTV, U Young and Excel Media to bring In the Night Garden to a whole new audience."

The magazine will launch in China on 1 June 2009. The magazine, licensed to You You Xing Media Co, a branch of UYoung Media, will be published in Chinese. The title will have an initial print run of 150,000 copies, increasing to 500,000 with subsequent issues. The launch of In the Night Garden in China is the second international licence for the magazine. In the Night Garden Middle East was launched in December.

BBC Children‘s Books has secured Children‘s Fun as their Chinese publisher for In the Night Garden. Children‘s Fun has a pedigree of publishing television licenses including Teletubbies. The deal was confirmed through You You Xing Media. Children‘s Fun will be launching eight Mandarin storybook titles followed by a range of activity books with further publishing rolling out in 2010.

Excel Media, a BBC Worldwide partner for Charlie and Lola, will release DVD titles for In the Night Garden. Igglepiggle and his friends will debut on DVD in June in China with two titles, the initial production run of which is 5,000 copies. Two titles every month are planned thereafter.

In just over a year since launch, In the Night Garden ended 2008 as the second biggest licence in the UK, generating ?33.1 million in licensed toy sales and outperforming competitors like Thomas the Tank Engine, Ben 10 and High School Musical. To date the property has sold over three-quarters of a million DVDs, over a million books and been sold to 33 countries Worldwide.

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