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UTV Toonz, BKN New Media ink $10-million animation deal

20-September-2005
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UTV Toonz, BKN New Media ink $10-million animation deal

UTV Toonz, the animation division of UTV Software Communications Ltd, has entered into yet another animation deal of $10 million with New York based BKN New Media Inc. With this deal, international toon house BKN will be outsourcing animation production to UTV Toonz.

To begin with, there will be two 26-episode 3D series – ‘Kong – The Next Generation’ and another yet-to-be titled series. BKN has also recently signed a number of licensing deals with partners in the US for other Kong properties.

BKN is an international producer, distributor and marketer of animated children’s programmes and exploits the ancillary rights through licensing and merchandising The company has a catalogue of some 22 titles covering 862 episodes.

Under this agreement, of which the first series of 26 episodes will be reflected in fiscal 2006 for UTV, UTV Toonz has also bagged distribution, licensing and merchandising rights to some of BKN’s high demand animation series like ‘Legend of the Dragon’, ‘Roswell Conspiracies’, ‘Starla and the Jewel Riders’, ‘Skipper & Skeeto’ and ‘Ali Baba and Forty Thieves’.

Some of these will feature on UTV’s kids channel, Hungama TV, giving a booster to Hungama’s programming. “We aim to have the largest order book for an animation company in India in a year’s time, and our deal with BKN is one step further in that direction,” said Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV. “In animation, we market UTV as well as India as a destination and we believe there is a tremendous scope for our growth in this segment,” he added.

Allen J Bohbot, CEO of BKN International, said, “BKN has made King Kong a major centrepiece of our company’s expansive original animation slate and we look forward to embarking on the production of ‘Kong – The Next Generation’ series and ‘Kong II – Return to the Jungle’ feature film with UTV, one of India’s – and the industry’s – largest and most prolific 3D studios”.

This announcement closely follows the announcement of UTV Toonz bagging contracts worth $4 million less than a month back.

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