Genius Brands Expands International Market Launches for Kartoon Channel! Worldwide
Company Secures New Deal with China’s StarTimes to Launch Kartoon Channel! in South Africa and Sub-Saharan African Countries
Kartoon Channel! Now in 47 of Africa’s 55 Countries, with a Combined Population of 1.23 billion
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Continuing to build the global footprint of Kartoon Channel! Worldwide, Genius Brands International, Inc. (“Genius Brands”) (NASDAQ: GNUS) has signed a deal with China’s StarTimes to launch the rapidly growing Kartoon Channel! on January 31st on DTH satellite and digital terrestrial in South Africa and in 46 countries throughout the Sub-Saharan African region.
The brand new 24/7 Kartoon Channel!, dedicated to Africa, will be available to all StarTimes customers in the basic tier on DTH satellite and digital terrestrial: channel 304 on satellite and channel 357 on DTT (276 in Uganda). Kartoon Channel! Africa will offer exclusive and first run series that have proven popular with kids and families, including Genius Brands’ originals “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Rainbow Rangers,” “Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab,” and “Llama Llama,” starring Jennifer Garner and based on the bestselling children’s book franchise. The channel will also feature family-friendly movies on the weekends such as “Stan Lee’s Mighty 7,” “Ella Bella Bingo,” “Toys and Pets,” and “Boonie Bears.”
Additionally, Kartoon Channel! Africa will internationally premier the recently announced new 10-episode elimination-style competition reality series and accompanying Roblox Game Experiences for children, Kidaverse Roblox* Rumble. Hosted by TV personality and former NFL star, Rashad Jennings, the series will air as part of a games-branded programming block on weekday afternoons.
“We continue to build the global presence of Kartoon Channel! by creating unique partnerships, and we are delighted and honored to work with StarTimes to bring Kartoon Channel! to African kids and families in 2023. Our family-friendly brand values and safe environment deliver the perfect recipe to entertain and inform kids via characters and shows they adore. We are just getting started in growing Kartoon Channel! as a preeminent children’s entertainment destination worldwide,” stated President of Kartoon Channel! Worldwide Paul Robinson.
“We are thrilled to launch a channel throughout Africa that offers such a diverse line-up of programming for children 2 – 12-years-old and their families. With safe, value-driven content across multiple genres, we anticipate Kartoon Channel! to be a hit across the region, and look forward to working with Genius Brands in the coming years to bring a unique entertainment experience to our young audiences across the region,” said General Manager of StarTimes Media Lily Meng.
Kartoon Channel! is currently available in key territories around the world, including Australia and New Zealand (Samsung TV Plus), Germany (Waipu), and the Philippines (Tapp Digital). Kartoon Channel! branded blocks are also currently available in 65 countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
About Kartoon Channel!
Available everywhere and anywhere kids are today, Genius Brands’ Kartoon Channel! is a family entertainment destination that delivers 1000s of episodes of carefully curated and safe family-friendly content. The channel features animated classics for little kids, including The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Babar, Mellodees, Super Simple Songs, Finny the Shark, and Baby Genius, as well as hit content for bigger kids, such as Angry Birds and Yu-Gi-Oh!, to original programming like Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, KC! Pop Quiz, hosted by Casey Simpson, and Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal and Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, coming in 2023. Kartoon Channel! also offers STEM-based content through its Kartoon Classroom!, including Baby Genius, and more.
Kartoon Channel! is available across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android Mobile, Web, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Comcast, Cox, Dish, Sling TV, Android TV, Xumo, Tubi, Samsung and LG Smart TVs.
About Genius Brands International
Genius Brands International, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s IP portfolio of family-friendly content features the Stan Lee brand, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal, coming to Kartoon Channel!; Rainbow Rangers on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, on Netflix and more. Recently, Genius Brands entered into an agreement to acquire Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media (TSX-V: WOW), which includes 2,500 channels under the Channel Federator Network, and has also made a strategic investment in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment AG (FRA:RTV), one of Europe’s largest distributors and broadcasters of high-quality programs for children and families.
Genius Brands’ Kartoon Channel! is a globally distributed entertainment platform with 100% penetration in the U.S. television market and international expansion with launches in key markets around the world. The channel is available in the U.S. via a broad range of distribution platforms, including Comcast, Cox, DISH, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Apple iOS, Android TV, Android Mobil, Google Play, Roku, YouTube, KartoonChannel.com, Samsung Smart and LG TVs, the JetBlue Inflight platform and more. Genius Brands is now rolling out the subscription-based Kartoon Channel! Kidaverse, featuring metaversal content and exclusive titles.
For additional information, please visit www.gnusbrands.com.
StarTimes is the leading digital TV operator in Africa, serving 13 million DVB subscribers and 20 million OTT users in 30+ countries. StarTimes owns a 600+ channels’ content platform combining African local channels (75%) and international channels (25%, including Chinese channels 1.5%). The company's vision is "To ensure that every African family can access, afford, watch and share the beauty of digital TV”.
Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares, which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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Released January 17, 2023