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US Kids' TV Giant Eyes Market in China

Herb Scannell, president of Nickelodeon Networks, paid his first visit to China last week to talk about collaboration between Nickelodeon and the children's channel of China Central Television (CCTV) and Shanghai Media Group.

"The children's channel in China is very exciting, and this is the right time to cooperate with the local experts for children's TV programs and products," Scannell said.

Before his visit, Nickelodeon, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, signed a contract with Shanghai Media Group to establish a joint venture to produce local programs.

"As we have done in other countries, we will localize some programs in China," Scannell said. "As far as production goes, under the joint venture, Chinese staff will help us to find Chinese stories and popular Chinese characters and turn them into cartoons and other programs broadcast on Nickelodeon." Currently, CCTV 14, the children's channel, is airing Nickelodeon's cartoon serial The Wild Thornberry.

It is the second of Nickelodeon's programs broadcast on CCTV 14. The first, CatDog, which has been on the air since March, has become one of the most popular programs on CCTV 14.

Scannell also said that Nickelodeon will include China in its annual "Kids' Choice Awards," at the end of the year.

Launched in 1979 as a children's cable and satellite channel, Nickelodeon, which belongs to Viacom, is the top entertainment brand for children in the US. It has built up a diverse global business, but remains focused on children. Nickelodeon's programming includes comedy, adventure, variety, news and game shows created specifically for children.

Its first channel outside the US was set up in the United Kingdom in 1993. Nickelodeon now has 26 customized channels covering every major region around the world.

Through its localized channels, branded blocks, or individual program sales, Nickelodeon programing is available in over 300 million households in 149 countries and regions in 30 languages.

(China Daily June 9, 2004)

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