New kids network in play

Corus, DIC content feed channel launch

Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment said Tuesday that it is joining with Britain's Sparrowhawk Media and kids producer DIC Entertainment to launch a multiplatform global kids TV channel (HR 4/4).

Tagged KidsCo, the channel is set to launch in Central and Eastern Europe in the fall and will eventually reach 40 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region by 2009.

Content will come from Corus — whose Nelvana cartoon library includes "Babar," "Franklin" and "The Adventures of Tintin" — and DIC, best known for its "Inspector Gadget," "Strawberry Shortcake" and "Care Bears" series.

The collaboration will "deliver on our shared mission of entertaining children and families around the globe," Corus president and CEO John Cassaday said.

DIC CEO Andy Heyward said he first discussed helping launch a branded kids channel with Sparrowhawk CEO David Hulbert when both did business under the Walt Disney Co. umbrella.

Those discussions deepened a year ago at MIPTV, soon after Hulbert moved over from Disney to help launch Sparrowhawk, which will transmit the KidsCo satellite feed from its Denver-based broadcast facility.