Turner’s Toonami makes French debut

Pierre Branco

Pierre Branco

Turner Broadcasting System has launched its kids channel Toonami in France, marking the first time the network has been broadcasted in Europe in almost a decade.

The network, which comprises entirely of superhero-themed programming, will also debut in all French-speaking territories, including in Belgium and Africa, Turner France, Portugal and Africa general manager Pierre Branco told DTVE sister title TBI. “It’s going to be the home of superheroes,” he said.

The network, which already has wide distribution in Asia and is a programming block in the US, aims at kids aged 8-12 and includes programming from Turner-owned DC Comics and Hollywood studio Warner Bros. Cartoon Network superhero staples such as Ben10 and Thundercats will also be broadcasted via ADSL and cable platforms in HD.

A Toonami Movies block will also provide various feature films and direct-to-DVD movies that haven’t been seen elsewhere on television in Europe, Branco told TBI. “This will help us reach a broad target base, but is also brand new content for TV,” he said.

The channel will also offer a catch-up service, Toonami Max via cable, tablet, mobiles and PCs. The service will have 145 hours – or 400 episodes – of catch-up programming. “It’s kind of an SVOD service bundled within the channel,” said Branco.

“France is a country with many kids channels, but we know our audience so well,” said Branco. “It is important to give them both linear and non-linear options.

The channel launches this evening (February 11) with Beware the Batman, Warner Bros. latest animated TV series featuring the Caped Crusader.

Branco said the launch would preceed others. “We want to expand to the rest of the world, and this launch in France is the first step in that expansion,” he said.

Toonami was previously broadcasted in Europe in the UK and Ireland between 2003 and 2007.

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