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Entertainment One Looks to Coax ‘Simon’s Cat’ from YouTube to TV

Firm picks up worldwide distrib rights to British tabby animation property

Entertainment One acquired worldwide distribution rights to YouTube toon phenom “Simon’s Cat,” with plans to license the fat white British feline to TV, home entertainment and other digital companies.

On YouTube, “Simon’s Cat” has 1.77 million subscribers for its animated shorts, which have generated more than 358 million views since its creation in 2008.

“This deal marks eOne’s first major step towards the development of licensing programs for brands conceived in the non-linear space for a broader audience,” said Olivier Dumont, managing director for eOne Licensing and eOne Family.

The distribution firm’s kidvid brands include “Peppa Pig,” and Dumont said “Simon’s Cat” will expand eOne’s reach in the category.

“Simon’s Cat” was created by Brit animator Simon Tofield, who also voices the series. His company has released 32 episodes on YouTube to date. Last year, Disney ran episodes from the skein on Mouse House’s YouTube channel.

“I’m delighted that Simon’s Cat is now working in partnership with eOne and feel that this move represents the start of an exciting new phase for our character brand,” said Mike Bell, director of Simon’s Cat Ltd.

Toronto-based eOne specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. Its current rights library includes more than 35,000 film and television titles, 2,700 hours of TV programming and 45,000 music tracks.

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