Italy’s RAI takes ‘Pocoyo’

Kids' animation has aired in 100 countries

MADRID — Italian pubcaster RAI has inked free-to-air TV rights to top-selling CGI pre-school series “Pocoyo.”

“Pocoyo” will bow this month on RAI 2’s popular kids slot, with two episodes broadcast back-to-back Tuesdays to Thursdays, and one episode airing on Fridays.

Co-produced by Madrid-based Zinkia and U.K.’s ITV Studios Global Ent., “Pocoyo” has aired in more than 100 territories, including the U.S. (via Univision and WGBH), Latin America (Discovery Kids), France (Nick Junior), Germany (Kika), Spain (TVE) and Japan (WowWow).

Since its debut in 2005 on ITV, “Pocoyo” has become a multi-platform brand worldwide, selling more than 2.7 million toys, 1.3 million books and shifting more than 1.4 million DVD units.

The entry into the Italian market represents an important step forward in Zinkia’s strategy, said company’s CEO Fernando de Miguel.

“RAI 2 is the best alliance for ensuring that ‘Pocoyo’ will captivate Italian television viewers, due to its coverage, prestige and viewer levels,” he added.

ITV Studios sells “Pocoyo’s” worldwide TV distribution rights, excluding Spain, Portugal, Italy and Latin America, which are handled by Zinkia.