Hit Entertainment is no longer a joint venture partner in international kids channel JimJam after exiting the JV it had with Chello Zone, the channels and content arm of Liberty Global, TBIvision has learned.
Hit will continue to provide content to JimJam under the terms of a long-term programming deal, including key shows Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends and Fireman Sam.
Both parties confirmed Hit was no longer part of the JV, leaving JimJam wholly-owned by Chello Zone. Neither side would give a reason for Hit’s exit. JimJam is currently carried in over fifty territories in the EMEA region and Asia, in eleven languages.
“Hit Entertainment and Chello Zone mutually agreed to end the joint venture,” said a Liberty Global spokesperson. Liberty does not need to break out detailed financial information unless a deal has a ‘material impact’ on the company, she added. Hit, meanwhile, is privately backed and its spokesperson said the financial implications of the deal are confidential.
“It was a mutual decision,” said a Chello Zone spokesperson. “Both parties decided to focus on their own business priorities.”
Hit’s exited the JV a couple of months ago, its spokesperson said. She added that it was “one-off business decision” and that Hit remains committed to its other TV channel interest, PBS Kids Sprout. The channel and on-demand service was created in 2005 as a four-way partnership between Hit, Comcast, PBS and Sesame Workshop.
The Hit and Chello Zone JV was inaugurated in September 2007 when Chellomedia acquired the JimJam channel, which at that point was an Italian preschool offering on the Sky Italia platform. Prior to that Hit had started launching branded blocks of programming on pay TV channels.
Chello Zone operates a slew of other thematic channels including the Horror Channel, Zone Fantasy and Zone Romantica and the CBS Action, CBS Drama and CBS Reality channels, which are run in conjunction with CBS Studios International.