Peppa Pig, the preschool cartoon character that’s already on track to generate $1 billion in licensing and merchandising sales this year for rights holder eOne, has found a home in one of the biggest international markets of all.
Chinese national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has acquired the broadcast rights for the porcine profit machine and is set to debut the series on its CCTV 14 Kids channel later this month. In a deal announced on Tuesday, eOne will also be working with CCTV to generate dedicated localized content, including a Peppa Pig website and various online promotions.
While CCTV has the Chinese broadcast rights for Peppa Pig, PPW has been appointed the brand’s local licensing agent and has already signed up Penguin China as publishing partner and King Bee as toy licensee. Products are set to launch in July.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming CCTV and PPW to the eOne family,” said Olivier Dumont, managing director of eOne Family and eOne Licensing. “CCTV is the home of the most current television content in the region, and its reach is quite phenomenal. Couple this with PPW’s forensic knowledge of licensing in the region and its proven ability to develop comprehensive cross category licensing programmes and we have an extremely strong foundation for building Peppa Pig in this hugely exciting market.”
Although Peppa Pig may not yet be a major name in China, British firms have been aggressively chasing a stake in the country’s family and children’s TV market, with Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep a recent success story. In March, China and Britain formally ratified a co-production agreement that will allow Sino-British co-productions to sidestep the quota system for foreign films in the world’s second largest film market. They also launched a program called Animate U.K., part of the U.K.-China Year of Culture Exchange.