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Al Jazeera Kids-backers launch $30m preschool channel

The backers of Qatar-based kids network Al Jazeera Children’s Channel have launched a preschool offering, Baraem, which translates as ‘the very little ones’.

The channel will accompany Al Jazeera Childrens Channel’s existing kids network, from the same backers, and will target three-to-six-year-olds. With distribution on Nilesat, Arabsat and HotBird satellites the channel will be available, free-to-air, across the Arabic territories and most of Europe.

"This is the first pan-Arabic offer for Arab children," Mahmoud Bouneb executive general manager of JCC and Baraem said. At launch the channel will be mostly programmed with acquired programming, but the 15% level of in-house content will double over the next two years, Bouneb said. It will be programmed in separate day parts targeting specific age groups.

The channel is 100% funded by the Qatar Foundation, which was established by the Emir of Qatar in 1995. The new channel has cost $30 million to get ready for launch, Bouneb said. The annual combined budget for the existing kids channel and Baraem is $100 million a year.