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Nickelodeon launching Nick Jr. in Italy

Nickelodeon plans to launch its preschool channel Nick Jr. in Italy later this year. The Viacom-owned kids network hopes to roll out the channel by October on the Sky Italia pay TV service, Massimo Bruno, Nick’s head of content for southern Europe, told TBIvision.

Nick is one of the mainstays on Sky Italia, Italy’s main pay TV platform with 4.8 million subscribers, where it is the tenth most popular channel overall. The next stage of Nick’s development in the country is the launch of a full-fledged Nick Jr. preschool channel.

“There’s a new mood in the Italian market that favors preschool. It’s very interesting and we are discussing the September or October launch of Nick Jr. on Sky Italia” explains Bruno.

Nick’s current preschool output in Italy is limited to its Nick Jr. block. The channel launch is good news for Italy’s animation producers, who typically have to rely on Rai.

Bruno said: “We buy preschool programming locally, but we only have a block at the moment – we hope to buy more as of September.”

Italy’s animation sector has been further boosted by Mediaset starting to invest in local production for its Italia1 channel.