In March, we reported that kids in China would soon be introduced to such Nickelodeon cartoons as The Wild Thornberrys and CatDog. Now Daily Variety reports that the co-venture between Viacom and Shanghai Media Group will launch early next year with more than 30 cable channels carrying locally produced, Chinese-language live-action series and game shows, in addition to the daily hour and a half of Nick animation.
The partnership follows the breakthrough launch of MTV as the first 24-hour channel in China, and is part of a raft of deals struck between Viacom’s MTV Networks Int’l and Chinese broadcast entities. China Central Television (CCTV) is partnering with Nickelodeon to co-produce China’s first awards show for kids.
Last December, the Chinese government loosened regulations to allow foreign companies to acquire minority stakes in Chinese production ventures. Thanks to Viacom’s chairman of the board and CEO Sumner Redstone’s numerous visits and relentless pursuit, Viacom was the first Western entity to take advantage of the situation and bring its brands to the potential audience of 386 million TV-viewing households.