Hasbro, Discovery to Form TV Network
April 30, 2009
Toy maker Hasbro Inc. and cable-TV programmer Discovery Communications on Thursday said they will form a joint venture to create a TV network and Web site with new programming based on Hasbro brands.
Hasbro will buy a 50 percent stake in the venture, which will hold the assets related to Discovery Kids Network in the U.S. for $300 million.
The network will operate as Discovery Kids until a new programing slate and an as yet undetermined name debuts in late 2010. Programming will be geared toward boys and girls 14 and under.
As part of the deal, the joint venture will receive a minority interest in the U.S. version of Hasbro.com.
The TV network and Web site will feature content from Hasbro properties, including original programming such as animation game shows and live action series.
New programming will be based on brands such as Romper Room, Cranium, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, G.I. Joe and Transformers. Discovery's children's programs such as Bindi the Jungle Girl will also be featured.
The companies will hire a president and general manager for the network and Hasbro will establish a creative team to create content for the network and Web site.
Hasbro over the past few years has made a concerted effort to bring its brands into new mediums like TV and video games. It has released more than 30 video games with Electronic Arts, created a TV game show based on its Trivial Pursuit board game, "Trivial Pursuit: America Plays," and has two summer blockbusters based on its properties out this summer: "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," which opens June 24, and "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," which opens Aug. 7.