IDT Entertainment is fast approaching buying up all the ingredients it needs to be a completely diversified, worldwide entertainment conglomerate with its latest acquisition of a 5% equity interest in Archie Comics Entertainment, LLC. This agreement gives IDT the rights to co-develop and co-produce select animated properties based upon Archie Comics Ent. characters.
Archie Comics Ent. is the entertainment and licensing arm of Archie Comic Publications Inc. with character properties such as ARCHIE, JUGHEAD, VERONICA, BETTY, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, KATY KEENE, CHERYL BLOSSOM, as well as superhero properties from the MIGHTY CRUSADERS library.
Archie Comics characters will be joining X-Men and Spiderman, other comic book heroes that IDT Ent. is animating for television and direct to DVD distribution, said IDTs ceo Jim Courter,
Plans include the creation of direct-to-DVD programming based upon the Archie characters that may be distributed through Anchor Bay, IDT Ent.s distribution division, as well as possible feature film production.
For over 60 years Archie Comics characters have provided the public with the best in family friendly entertainment, said Morris Berger, ceo of IDT Ent. This is a brand that has stood the test of time. Were excited to be working with Archie Comics Ent. to produce animated programming for their loyal audience, and to introduce their wonderful characters to a whole new generation of fans.
The last year has proven to be a time of tremendous growth for both Archie Comics Ent. and IDT Ent., which has gained industry-wide recognition for its distinctive and innovative approach to worldwide animation, said, Allan I. Grafman, president of Archie Comics Ent. IDTs commitment to wholesome, fun, animated programming is our sweet spot. IDTs strategy, family orientation, management and staff are in perfect sync with Archie Comics Ent. We look forward to the limitless synergistic opportunities that will be generated by our association.
Established in 2003 in New York City, Archie Comics Ent. (www.archiecomics.com
) is involved in the development, production and worldwide distribution of original projects for television, film and home video, music, live events and the Internet, as well as represents the licensing and merchandising of its enduring brands across all global markets.
This acquisition brings IDT much closer to the next strategic tentacles of publishing and licensing/merchandising to cover all aspects of the entertainment biz.
IDT Ent. has been undergoing a period of rapid expansion. In the past six months, IDT has purchased the Anchor Bay Ent. distribution house, signed a joint venture with Christian Broadcasting Network to create and distribute animated family entertainment, bought a controlling interest in CGI animation house, Mainframe Ent., Film Roman, a minority interest in Vanguard Animation, LLC and formed Digital Production Solutions (DPS),, its computer animation unit.
Recently, DPS (now part of IDT Ent.), announced an agreement with BAF Berlin Animation Film to provide complete production services on HAPPILY NEVER AFTER, a full-length 3D animated film featuring the voice talents of Sigourney Weaver, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., George Carlin, Wallace Shawn, Andy Dick and Patrick Warburton.
Newark, New Jersey-based IDT Ent. is a subsidiary of IDT Corp. (www.idt.net
). IDT Corp., through its IDT Telecom, Inc. subsidiary, is a facilities-based, multinational carrier that provides a broad range of telecommunications services to its retail and wholesale customers worldwide.