Fox Kids setting up Italo web, Web

Lineup includes 'X-Men,' Power Rangers

MILAN — Fox Kids Europe (FKE) will launch a local TV channel in Italy in the spring and will initiate its online activities in the Italian market with a fully localized Web site.

Fox Kids Italy TV channel will be distributed by cable and direct-to-home satellite to about 400,000 subscribers via the Stream pay TV platform, currently controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Europe, Telecom Italia and Vittorio Cecchi Gori.

The channel will be fully customized for the Italian market, broadcasting entirely in Italian 15 hours a day. It will be aimed at girls and boys 2-14, and its lineup will include well-known programs from the Saban library such as “X-Men,” “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and “Inspector Gadget.”

“Both the TV channel and the Web site will launch April 1 and will be based in Rome, and managed by a local team,” said Francesco Nespega, who was appointed managing director of Fox Kids Italy on Monday said. A former m.d. of Cecchi Gori’s TV channels TMC and TMC2, Nespega had been working as a consultant for FKE since February.

In the last two years, he has been acting as a consultant to leading international and local media companies, including SBS Broadcasting, Home Shopping Network, Mediaset and Telecom Italia. He told Daily Variety that he will continue working for these companies as well as for Fox Kids Italy.

Following this launch, Fox Kids channels will be reaching 16 million households, broadcasting in 11 languages in 30 markets across Europe and the Middle East.

In Europe, the company operates eight fully localized Web sites.

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