In further news, Cartoonito has acquired rights to the long-running Sesame Street, bringing the updated series back to UK screens.
The Mattel-owned Thomas & Friends will transfer to the Turner-owned channel next year, 32 years after it first played on UK pay TV. The change begins for the show’s twentieth season and includes new movie Thomas & Friends: The Great Race, which goes out at Easter.
Meanwhile, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has acquired Thomas & Friends for the first time, with other local deals done with LeEco and China Mobile. It recently launched on Chinese on-demand service Youku Tudou.
NHK in Japan, Global TV (Indonesia), GMA (Philippines), KBS (South Korea), TVNZ (New Zealand) and TVB (Hong Kong) also bought the show, which is now produced in-house at Mattel Creations.