ER To Acquire Classic Media Holdings
In Dec. 2003, Classic entered the faith-based children's entertainment market when it acquired certain assets of Big Idea Prods. Inc., a producer and creator of values-based family entertainment programming. Amongst the assets purchased were the intellectual property and distribution rights to LARRY BOY, 3-2-1- PENGUINS! and the award-winning VEGGIETALES series of programming which, to date, has more than 45 million home entertainment units in the U.S.
In August 2006, Classic entered into an operating agreement with ION Media Networks Inc. NBC Universal Inc. Scholastic Ent. Inc. and a subsidiary of Corus Ent. Inc. to form Children's Network Venture Llc. for the purposes of developing, managing and owning a branded children's multi-platform programming service distributed broadly and free to the American public. Classic's initial investment was $2.4 million. As a result of this agreement, the branded block entitled, "Qubo" launched in the U.S. on Sept. 9, 2006, on NBC and Telemundo and is broadcast in English and Spanish with access to approximately 80 million households in the U.S. Future Qubo multi-platform offerings will include a dedicated 24/7 digital television kids network that will launch across ION Media Networks' nationwide television station group, a branded website and video-on-demand services.
Classic actively exploits the motion picture rights of a number of its brands, including LASSIE (released in the U.K. in 2005 and in the U.S. in 2006), UNDERDOG (due for release by Spyglass/Disney in 2007) and VEGGIETALES (due for release by Universal in 2008), and its rights across licensing and merchandising videogames and e-commerce.