Universal Studios Home Entertainment acquires distribution rights to HIT Entertainment’s vast family content library in the U.S. and Canada.
Preschool entertainment company and Mattel subsidiary HIT Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment have announced a deal that gives Universal distribution rights to HIT’s vast award-winning family content library including Thomas & Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Barney & Friends, Bob the Builder, Pingu, Kipper, and more. As part of the arrangement, Universal acquires rights to distribute, sell, and market hundreds of titles from HIT’s extensive content library in the U.S. and Canada across Blu-ray, DVD, Electronic Sell-Through, SVOD and VOD platforms.
Universal will begin to distribute and market the HIT Entertainment catalog on October 1. In addition, the two companies will work together to distribute new content produced by HIT, including the upcoming Thomas & Friends feature length special, “Tale of the Brave,” due out in fall 2014.
“HIT Entertainment’s vibrant, preeminent brands are a spectacular complement to Universal’s outstanding portfolio of family franchises, including Barbie, Despicable Me and Curious George,” said Eddie Cunningham, Universal Pictures’ President -- Worldwide Home Entertainment. “Pairing HIT’s superior entertainment properties with Universal’s formidable home entertainment sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure effectively positions our companies for an enduring and prosperous collaboration.”
“With its strong expertise and footprint in content distribution across both brick and mortar and digital retail platforms, we are thrilled to partner with Universal Studios Home Entertainment to distribute and market HIT’s preschool franchises in North America,” said Sid Mathur, Vice President, The Americas, HIT Entertainment. “As consumer options to view content increase and evolve, we look forward to working together with Universal to leverage our popular evergreen portfolio and offer families the best preschool offerings in home entertainment.”
With the HIT partnership, Universal now distributes Mattel’s top powerhouse brands in North America starting from HIT’s preschool portfolio through Mattel’s girls and boys brands. Universal Studios Home Entertainment currently distributes Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital animated content based on some of Mattel’s hit brands including Barbie, Monster High, and Hot Wheels, and live-action content for American Girl.
Source: HIT Entertainment
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.