China's iQiyi, LeTV Take 'Teletubbies' Streaming Rights

The Chinese online video giants licensed the classic preschool show featuring Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po from Canada's DHX Media.

Classic preschool kids TV show Teletubbies is headed to China's online video market.

iQiyi has acquired the AVOD and SVOD rights to more than 400 half hours of content from Canada's DHX Media, including the original Teletubbies, Paddington and Caillou series. And in another non-exclusive licensing deal, LeTV has acquired the smart TV, set top box and web rights to 313 half-hours of the classic Teletubbies series in the English and Mandarin languages.

The content distribution deals with Chinese SVOD operators target an existing fan base for Teletubbies in China. The preschool series was the first western western kids property to air in China, reaching around 300 million kids on state broadcaster CCTV.

In 2013, DHX Media got the Teletubbies property via the acquisition of U.K. producer Ragdoll Worldwide — a joint venture between Ragdoll Productions and BBC Worldwide. The latest Chinese online video deals exclude DHX Media's new Teletubbies series.

Nickelodeon earlier picked up the U.S. TV and on-demand rights to the upcoming Teletubbies reboot for its Nick Jr. channel. The U.S. network also acquired all 365 original Teletubbies episodes for its new Noggin mobile subscription service.

Canadian indie producer DHX Media and U.K. partner Darrall Macqueen developed the latest incarnation of Teletubbies for CBeebies in the U.K., with the alien toddlers Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po to return with sound play and physical comedy.