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Celestial launching Chinese-language kids channel

MiaoCelestial Tiger is seeking to break the dominance of Turner, Viacom and Disney in the Asian kids TV space with the launch of  a Chinese children’s channel that will launch later this year.

Celestial Tiger Entertainment, which is backed by Saban, Lionsgate and Astro, operates a bouquet of movie and entertainment channels in Asia and the roll-out of the brand Miao Mi marks its first move into kids channels.

The new service will launch in Asia in the fourth quarter, CTE said, although specific territories and pay TV platforms were not detailed. It will target 3-6-year-olds with Mandarin language content.

CTE said the channel will be programmed with entertainment and educational content that has an Asian perspective. It plans to have animated series as well as live-action and reality fare. Content will, CTE added, be sourced from Asian producers and distributors.

The launch line-up includes Star Babies, the animated series about a group of babies inspired by Chinese including Bruce Lee, Secret Y, an animated series that introduces scientific knowledge to young children. It will also have  CCTV animated series Happy Friends, Happy Hero.

“Miao Mi satisfies two significant gaps in children’s television; the lack of pan-regional Asian kids channels created for international audiences, and the lack of television options catering to the growing demand for Mandarin language-learning. Miao Mi will fill both those gaps and more,” said CTE CEO, Todd Miller.

“We have been developing this channel for over a year, including consultation with a leading child development expert to create the channel’s educational framework,” added Ofanny Choi, executive VP, TV Networks. “Not only will Miao Mi entertain and educate kids, but it will also empower them with Asian cultural references and values. We expect this channel to be a hit with kids and popular with parents.