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Nickelodeon trio going Latino

MEXICO CITY – “Rugrats,” “Space Cases,” “Babar” and friends are all set to troop into Latin America on Friday with the regional launch of Nickelodeon, the kiddie web announced.

The network also confirmed that Taran Swan, who served as Nick’s Latino launch director, has been named G.M.. for the Spanish- and Portuguese-lingo web.

Thanks in part to leverage provided by its Viacom stablemate MTV Latino, Nick will launch with 2 million subscribers already signed up across 16 countries.

“Cable and DTH (direct-to-home) operators have already responded favorably to the concept of Nickelodeon, recognizing its unique offering of fresh, nonviolent programming,” Swan said.

Launching within weeks of new Latino bows by kiddie nets Discovery Kids, Fox Kids and Hearst Corp./Cisneros TV Group’s Locomotion, Nickelodeon will consist of 75% first-run programming.

Nick’s Latino line-up includes acquisitions from Nelvana, Cinar and Brazilian pubcaster TV Cultura, and the net will screen promos and other interstitials featuring Latino kids.

“Nickelodeon cameras are already in the region capturing kids’ lifestyles, and we look forward to building a channel just for them,” Swan added.

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