Turner Broadcasting Acquires LazyTown Brand and Announces New Series
The announcement comes with an immediate commitment to produce a new series of the Icelandic kids TV series known and aired in more than 100 countries in more than a dozen languages. Under the terms of the deal, LazyTown’s creator and star Magnus Scheving remains CEO of Latibaer and retains his management team, and the series production stays in Iceland.
The investment in LazyTown in particular signals the company’s growing ambitions in the pre school space, given the synergies that LazyTown presents for the company’s existing Cartoonito and Boomerang franchises. The announcement follows Turner’s consolidated preschool expansion across Europe Middle East and Africa, with the roll out of its preschool channel Cartoonito across the region on 5th September 2011.
“The acquisition is immensely exciting both strategically and creatively,” said Jeff Kupsky, president TBS Europe. “With the great fit between our existing assets in the pre-school genre, and the retention of the unique talent that is Magnus Scheving, we’re ready to expand the LazyTown brand and will immediately be starting production on a new series. This will be supported by Turner’s successful 360 franchise management approach which will include consumer products and digital extensions."
Magnus Scheving, CEO of Latibaer said “We’re delighted to have Turner on board and believe that the fit is an ideal one for us, Turner being one of the world's leading broadcast companies. Their ethos of entertaining children in a fun and educational way is perfectly in keeping with the LazyTown brand. We look forward to a bringing the LazyTown message of helping motivate children to lead a healthy lifestyle to a whole new audience of Turner viewers.”
Michael Carrington, Chief Content Officer, Turner Broadcasting, EMEA, said: "LazyTown is considered to be an innovative ground breaking programme around the world. Its an inspirational television series designed to inspire young children to lead an active healthy lifestyle, and the show will be a key element in our preschool strategy going forward. I'm thrilled that we will be a part of its future as we develop and produce the new series".
Alan Fenwick, VP Turner CN Enterprises, EMEA said: "LazyTown is one of those rare and wonderfully inspiring brands that at its core has such a relevant health message that everyone from governments to global retailers and most importantly millions of children every day from around the world are fully embracing. We are delighted to be working with Magnus and his team as we build on this success together, ensuring that LazyTown becomes the world's leading healthy lifestyle brand for children.”
Turner's expanding presence in the EMEA territory currently sees Boomerang and Cartoonito brands available in 22 languages in 125 million households, with the LazyTown brand presenting an evident opportunity for innovative collaborations within the existing family of assets.
"This is going to be great news for the kids who watch, wear or play online with our brands,” added Kupsky.
For Turner, which also operates the TNT and CNN brands as part of a growing and diverse channel portfolio, the move is the fourth strategic investment within the last year in the EMEA region. It follows on from the recent acquisition of MMG and investments in TeePee Games and Starlounge, as part of its commitment to taking entrepreneurial businesses to the next level of development, with growth plans beyond Turner's existing footprint over time.