Monday, May 17, 2010

Hub New Cartoon Channel Launches for Kids

When the Hub launches Oct. 10, the kids' cable network will have more than just increased competition from the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network to contend with. The joint venture between Discovery and Hasbro, the world's second-largest toy company, will also have to sell itself to fellow toy marketers such as Mattel.

Hub CEO Margaret Loesch, a 30-year veteran producer of animated shows including Hasbro properties "G.I. Joe," "Transformers" and "My Little Pony," is keenly aware of the network's challenges in the marketplace as well as from government scrutiny. That's why the network will launch in 60 million homes with only 25% of its programming based on Hasbro toys, while the rest of its slate will be a mix of animation and live action shows geared at different demographics across multiple day-parts, but primarily focused on children 6 to 12 years old.

The Hub has added the hit animated preschool series Animal Mechanicals to its slate. The network, a new joint venture between toymaker Hasbro and Discovery Communications, picked up the rights to the 55 x 11 min. series from Decode Enterprises. Animal Mechanicals is produced by Halifax Films in Canada under commission from the CBC.

The Hub the new kids' service from Discovery Communications and Hasbro has unveiled a lineup of original and acquired series from, among others, Hasbro Studios, DHX's Halifax Film and Moonscoop. The new Discovery/Hasbro JV debuts in place of Discovery Kids in 60 million homes this fall.


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