On May 4, Sony Pictures Television Networks will launch its first free-to-air TV channel in Italy, Pop. The successful kids channel will bring the Italian premiere of fan favorites including The Deep, Kuu Kuu Harajuku, Wild Kratts,The Insectibles and Power Rangers Ninja Steel.
Pop launched in the U.K. in 2003, where is has become part of the nation's top-performing commercial kids channel portfolio. The brand mixes drama, comedy and action for a broad mix of appealing youth content.
In Italy, Pop is a rebrand of the Japanese culture channel Neko TV, following its acquisition by SPTN from Television Broadcasting System. The new channel will target girls and boys from ages 6 to 9. The station will also launch with an accompanying website full of interactive games and videos.
Pop also is working with local production companies to create original content. The first project announced is a series of short-form animation interstitials with Maga Animation.
Viacom International Media Networks Pubblicita and Brand Solutions will lead advertising sales and sponsorships for SPTN's new Italian free-to-air channels, and Persidera will provide digital terrestrial television (DTT) capacity.
"Today marks a new era in our European business, as we announce the launch of Pop - SPTN's leading kids brand and first free-to-air channel in the growing Italian DTT market," said Kate Marsh, executive vp of Sony Pictures Television's Western Europe International Networks division. "Sony's Pop television network has been a big hit with kids elsewhere in Europe and now we're thrilled to launch the channel in Italy."