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MTV spins Canuck, African deals

'Skyland' will air on Nicktoons in the U.S. this November

MTV Networks Intl. has hit the ground running at the Mipcom TV mart in Cannes, unveiling a multi-million-dollar, five-year output deal with Canadian specialty channels YTV and Treehouse, as well as further distribution for its pan-African channel MTV base and a global sneak peek of Nicktoons Network’s first international co-production.

Latter deal will see the hourlong pilot of animated series “Skyland,” produced by French studio Method Films, air on Nicktoons in the U.S. this November, while France 2, Canada’s Teletoon and Australia’s ABC will all preview either the full episode or a 75-second clip, ahead of its launch next year.

“It sends a signal out we are looking for the most innovative and distinct properties from around the globe,” said Keith Dawkins, general manager of Nicktoons. “It’s a hot property here at the market.”

Partnership with Canada’s Corus Entertainment is the largest agreement struck by the two companies and gives the channel operator exclusive rights to all current and new Nickelodeon programming for preschool channel Treehouse and youth network YTV, both of which are market leaders.

The two companies also will explore co-production opportunities and will look to exploit content across new platforms.

YTV already holds Nick’s latest properties, including “Avatar,” “Catscratch” and “Go, Diego, Go!,” all of which launched to international buyers at Mipcom, and “SpongeBob SquarePants” is consistently the No. 1 program on the network.

As for MTV base, the music channel has increased its distribution four-fold to 8 million households, following the launch of branded blocks on terrestrial networks Silverbird TV in Nigeria, Kenya’s Nation TV (NTV) and Ghana’s Metro TV. Launched in February, the channel has until now been available to 1.3 million households via the DStv pan-African pay TV platform, as well as local pay TV operators.

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