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HIT Ent. Bolsters Asia TV Presence With Sales To CCTV & EBS

HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights-owners, today announced two significant broadcast deals serving to further the presence of popular preschool brands ‘Thomas & Friends’, ‘Bob the Builder’ and ‘Barney’ in two key Asian markets – China and Korea.

Press Release from HIT Entertainment

22 September 2011 LONDON/ HONG KONG: HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights-owners, today announced two significant broadcast deals serving to further the presence of popular preschool brands ‘Thomas & Friends’, ‘Bob the Builder’ and ‘Barney’ in two key Asian markets – China and Korea.

Within China, audiences can look forward to 80 new episodes of popular preschool show ‘Thomas & Friends’ following CCTV’s acquisition of series 12-15. These four new series are set to run consecutively on the CCTV Kids channel, with back to back programming scheduled to air over the coming months.

The deal extends HIT Entertainment’s relationship with CCTV who acquired series 8-11 of ‘Thomas & Friends’ in 2009. Following a strong ratings performance, the broadcaster has since aired all the episodes multiple times.

In series 12-15, Chinese pre-schoolers will be introduced to ‘Thomas & Friends’ in its new CGI format. The ‘Thomas & Friends’ CGI programming has already proved popular in other territories, with ratings up 86%* in the UK (FIVE Milkshake!), 50%** in the US (PBS) and 47%*** in Australia (ABC).

The deal with EBS comprises the acquisition of the new CGI series of ‘Thomas & Friends’ and ‘Bob the Builder’ by the Korean state broadcaster, along with Barney which will be making its channel debut.  Audiences in Korea will be able to enjoy ‘Thomas & Friends’ series 12-15, ‘Bob The Builder’ series 14-17 and ‘Barney’ series 7-13.

Antonio Huab, SVP Thomas Asia at HIT Entertainment, says: ‘We’re delighted to extend our relationship with CCTV and bring new CGI episodes of Thomas & Friends to audiences in China who we know already love the brand. It’s also very exciting to introduce Barney to the EBS audience, along with the new CGI Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder through our new partnership with the channel. China and Korea are two key markets for HIT Entertainment within the Asia-Pacific region and we hope these deals will further promote growth for our brands in these countries”.

About Thomas & FriendsThomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son 66 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 territories and in 30 languages.  The #1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends makes tracks to great destinations on PBS KIDS®, PBS KIDS Sprout and on Five’s Milkshake! and Nick Jr in the UK and on CCTV in China.  Downloadable episodes are available through iTunes. For more information about the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, please visit www.thomasandfriends.com.

About HIT EntertainmentHIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends, Pingu, Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina and Rainbow Magic. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment’s Fifi and the Flowertots, Little Charley Bear and Roary the Racing Car in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations.  HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan.  HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS SproutSM. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

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