aNb Media News, October 25, 2016

Sony Pictures Television Acquires Stake in Hopster

Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN) announced that it has taken a minority stake in Hopster, a global preschool SVOD platform, becoming a strategic equity investor and taking a seat on the company’s board.

The investment complements SPTN’s growing kids’ portfolio, particularly in the UK, where SPTN’s linear and AVOD services include POP, Tiny Pop, and Kix, which make up the largest share of the commercial kids’ Freeview market in the territory.

Since launching in December 2013, the platform is now available in more than 100 countries worldwide, as well as making its debut on Apple TV last year. Hopster features a lineup of hit local shows including Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton and DHX Media’s Monster Math Squad and Franny’s Feet.

Hopster’s investment round, which was led by SPTN in association with its largest existing investor Sandbox Partners, will see the company continue to expand its operations and fuel further investments in content and marketing, according to the companies.

Jakks Launching Kids’ Fitness Initiative

Jakks Pacific announced that it will launch a new kids’ fitness initiative in 2017. Jakks will introduce Little Mighty Gym, a cohesive line of on-trend products that encourage active play. This new fitness form factor will include physical and digital components to capture the attention of 6­–12 year olds, while also encouraging them to get up and move.

Experts state that children should get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day that should include muscle strengthening, aerobic activity, and bone strengthening. Little Mighty Gym marries physical game play with virtual play, infusing real-time fun into app-based gaming. The Little Mighty Gym App will have four games with four varying levels of fitness fun, allowing kids to engage at their own level. Additional fun fitness products include jump ropes, hoppers, yoga balls, bop bags, heavy bags, and more.

Beatrix Girls to Become TV Series

Two-time Emmy Award‐winning producer and studio executive Sherry Gunther Shugerman has teamed up with the German brand management and media company m4e AG to produce a TV show called The Beatrix Girls. The show is based on the multimedia brand and its toy line of collectible pop‐star dolls driven by original music, with over 23 million views on its YouTube videos. It was originally developed by Sherry Gunther Shugerman and her company POPmedia Brands. She has a proven track record of success with more than two decades of experience producing hits such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Rugrats.

Shugerman and m4e are joined by the Emmy-nominated screenwriter Robert Ramirez, best known for his work with Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Disney, and Cartoon Network.

The show is currently in financing status, while the producers are already in discussions with various broadcasters. Production is due to start in 2017.

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