Daily Variety reports that Zee TV will launch a new children’s programming network called Space Toons in India. Backed by Indian media mogul Subhash Chandra, the channel is a result of the $14 million co-production and licensing deal that Zee animation subsidiary Padmalaya Telefilms recently signed with Italian animation house Mondo TV. The pact will also see the production of four new animated TV series and two feature-length films. Padmalaya Telefilms also gets temporary licensing in India for 1,000 episodes from Mondo TV’s library, a 10-year arrangement valued at $5 million. In addition, both companies are in discussions about starting up Padmalaya’s new 3D animation facility in Mumbai in the next couple of months.
Slated to debut in August, Space Toons will use the various planets in our solar system to present the different programming genres. The network will have some healthy competition in the Indian cable TV market as Disney is reportedly planning to introduce three channels within the year.