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MipTV: Miramax Owner beIN Media Group Launches Kiddie Channel in Middle East

BeIN Media Group, the expanding Qatar-based broadcaster that recently acquired Miramax, is launching kiddie channel beJunior in tandem with Munich-based Studio 100 Media.

The co-branded channel will be beamed to beIN pay-TV subscribers across the Middle East and North Africa, in a significant further indication of its ambitions to become a MENA pay-TV powerhouse.

Studio 100 Media will provide the entire on-air set up of beJunior, including designs and scheduling and full content supply. The channel, which will launch on April 1, will replicate the concept of Studio 100’s “Junior” pay TV channel in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

It will beam shows from Studio 100’s extensive library of classics as well as modern CGI series’ “Maya the Bee,” “Vic the Viking” and “Heidi.” Upcoming highlights in the next few years will be the CGI series’ “The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill,” “Nils Holgersson” and “Arthur and the Minimoys,” which Studio 100 Media will be unveiling at this year’s Mip.

Set up as a sports Al Jazeera spin-off in 2014, Doha-based beIN Media Group has more than 30 channels worldwide aired mostly across the Middle East and North Africa, but also in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. It controls top Turkish paybox Digiturk and sports channels in France, Spain the U.S. and Australia.

They began officially expanding from sports into movies in recent months with several multimillion output deals to fuel two channels, beIN Movies 1 and 2, which launched late last year. These mark an Arab pay-TV landscape game changer in the region where until recently Dubai-based OSN was the single paybox offering movies, original programming and general entertainment.

Earlier this month they acquired Miramax for an undisclosed sum.

“We launched our own branded movie entertainment channels in November 2015. Now we want to expand the portfolio of our branded channels by launching beJunior,” said Yousef Al-Obaidly, the company’s deputy CEO (pictured) in a statement.

Patrick Elmendorff, CEO of Studio 100 Media, pointed out that “the new channel will be based on the established concept of ‘Junior,’ but always with special regard to the viewing habits and requirements of audiences in the MENA region.”

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