Universal grabs 'Bernard' DVD rights

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MADRID -- Universal Pictures International Entertainment has picked up the international DVD rights to Spanish animation series "Bernard," Madrid-based production house BRB International said Tuesday.

The groundbreaking deal for the 52-episode first season represents the first time that a Spanish animator has entered into such a wide-ranging alliance covering so many countries.

Universal, which also has acquired mobile rights to "Bernard" in the U.K., will kick off its DVD launch program in a number of countries this year. In addition to the 52 episodes, the two-DVD pack will feature storyboards, artists' sketches and animatics of the series' stars.

"Bernard" centers on the globe-trotting journey of a clumsy polar bear and his friends.

The series already has been acquired for television by France (M6, Teletoon), Germany (KIKA), the U.K. (BBC), Italy (Mediaset, Nickelodeon), Spain (TVE, Jetix) Sweden (SVT), Denmark (DR), Russia (MUZ), Turkey (TV Samanyolu), Latin America (Disney), the U.S. (Cartoon Network), Australia (ABC), Canada (Radio Canada), Middle East (Victory IP), South Korea (EBS) and Africa (M-Net).

"Bernard" also appears on mobile phones, with Austria's OHM, German and Swiss operator Materna and Croatia and Slovenia operator Kitio allowing subscribers to download episodes.

BRB is preparing a second 52-episode season of "Bernard."
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