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Cartoon deal in the cards

Cabler pacts with Hallmark

Seeking to maintain a competitive edge against Nickelodeon and Disney, the Cartoon Network made a major grab for the 6-11 demo on Monday by inking a first-look deal with Hallmark Cards.

Cartoon Network Enterprises, the net’s global merchandizing and licensing division, announced the exclusive partnership would be a multiyear, multiproperty deal covering all Cartoon Network original properties for that specific age group. Agreement is similar to net’s June deal with toy company Mattel, which also had a first-look clause on all newly created original series programming.

Under the deal, Hallmark will have exclusive licensing rights in the U.S. and Canada for a range of products including greeting cards and party supply items. While the partnership goes into effect immediately, the first product launch based on Cartoon programming will not roll out until summer.

Cartoon Network Enterprises is charged with building consumer product franchises for Cartoon Network, its brands and characters from its original programming library.

Owned by Turner Broadcasting System, Cartoon Network reaches more than 91 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world.

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