International children’s channel KidsCo has announced that a Syfy Kids programming block, a partnership between KidsCo and Syfy, will launch in Asia this July. Content boasts original programming and recently acquired titles from KidsCo joint-venture partners, NBCUniversal and Chorus Entertainment. This will include the first-run exclusive of KidsCo’s original production Zuzu & the Supernuffs and CG-animated series Matt Hatter Chronicles from Platinum Films amongst others.
“We have acquired a raft of quality, imagination-based content, including the acclaimed series Matt Hatter Chronicles, which once fully dubbed will bring Syfy Kids to life,” says Hendrik McDermott, Managing Director of KidsCo. “From July, KidsCo will deliver all primetime programming, over 120 hours, fully dubbed into Cantonese, Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Melayu. Providing affiliates with a channel in a local language continues to be a core offering for KidsCo.”
McDermott tells TV ASIA Plus that while there are some major changes to KidsCo which include graphics, logo as well as programming, he emphasises that importantly, the channel has demonstrated a strong commitment to languaging.
“Over the past year, we’ve been gathering feedback and our affiliates have said to us that ‘your content looks old and everything is in English. You have not invested in local languages’. We’re changing all that with refreshed content, clearly demonstrating that we’re committed to providing entertaining kids content in languages that are familiar to local audiences.”
McDermott emphasises that on KidsCo, programmes are voice dubbed and never subtitled. Language options are currently provided for children’s primetime which he defines as between 5 – 7pm on weekdays (after-school hours) and 7 – 11am on weekends. McDermott says the channel is working towards 100% language customisation and there also plans to carry Thai and Burmese languages in anticipation of further expansion within Southeast Asia.
McDermott does not discount the possibility that the Syfy Kids block could lengthen in duration and eventually develop as a full-fledged channel. “Those discussions are definitely in place,” he says.
McDermott believes that Syfy Kids “is the world’s first sci-fi oriented block for kids aged 6 – 10,” and strongly believes the block will grow and be well positioned to challenge the competitors in the children’s programming arena.