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Hasbro and Discovery Announce New Television Network (Plans for new G.I.Joe & Transformers Series In The Works)
GI Joe: Jay Cochran - 2009.04.30
Conference Call Details

- Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner hinted on a conference call to shareholders that they would be working on a new Transformers series for sometime after "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen", most likely in 2010. The same goes for a new G.I.Joe series.

- Cartoon Network has the exclusive right to Transformers: Animated which currently airs on that network and if they wished to pursue the continuation of that series they could.

- The possibilities of shows from the 80's and 90's Hasbro library content to air on this network is a possibility though they mainly want to focus on new content.

- Goldner also made some hints that a possible "Stretch Armstrong" movie could be in the works with Universal Pictures and that a series on the new network would be forthcoming afterwards.

- For International viewers, shows made for this new network would continue to be made available to networks in other countries, just like existing Hasbro based shows are now.

- The actual name for this new network and specific programming will be revealed later as we get closer to the 2010 launch date for it.



Hasbro, Inc. and Discovery Communications today announced an agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture, including a television network and website, dedicated to high-quality children's and family entertainment and educational programming built around some of the most well-known and beloved brands in the world. As part of the transaction, the joint venture also will receive a minority interest in the U.S. version of Hasbro.com.

Both the network and the venture's online component will feature content from Hasbro's rich portfolio of entertainment and educational properties built over the past 90 years, including original programming for animation, game shows, and live-action series and specials. New programming will be based on brands such as ROMPER ROOM, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, SCRABBLE, CRANIUM, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, GAME OF LIFE, TONKA and TRANSFORMERS, among many others. The TV network and online presence also will include content from Discovery's extensive library of award-winning children's educational programming, such as BINDI THE JUNGLE GIRL, ENDURANCE, TUTENSTEIN, HI-5, FLIGHT 29 DOWN and PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD, as well as programming from third-party producers.

"Hasbro continues to evolve as a company with an unwavering vision of reimagining the potential of our incredible portfolio of brands well beyond traditional toys and games," said Brian Goldner, Hasbro's President and CEO. "Today, consumers are embracing our powerful brands through unique and immersive entertainment and educational experiences in a number of areas, including movies and new digital platforms.

"We believe the time is right for Hasbro to take the next step into television through our partnership with Discovery Communications," continued Goldner. "David Zaslav and his talented team have the experience, track record and ambition necessary to make this joint venture a long-term success as we build this network. We look forward to creating fun, stimulating and educational content that will allow us to deliver all-new brand experiences to the young and 'young at heart' - anywhere and anytime they want."

"This joint venture reinforces Discovery's strategy to develop strong brands, maximize the potential of our extensive distribution in the U.S. and work with the highest quality content partners to create long-term value," said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications. "Brian Goldner and the dynamic management team at Hasbro have a long track record of developing well-respected quality brands that entertain and encourage creative play. The combined assets of both partners provide a compelling platform for building a trusted children's destination that engages and enlightens a thirsty and growing audience."

At the closing of the transaction, Hasbro will purchase a 50% stake in the venture, which will hold the assets related to Discovery Kids Network in the U.S., for which Discovery Communications will receive $300 million. The joint venture's rebranded network is expected to debut in late 2010 reaching approximately 60 million Nielsen households in the U.S. with programming geared to boys and girls 14 years of age and under. The joint venture also will participate in merchandising opportunities associated with on-air content. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including satisfaction of all requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Each company will have equal representation on a board of directors that will oversee a management team responsible for programming, scheduling and operations. The search for a President and General Manager for the network will begin immediately. Discovery Communications will handle advertising sales services, distribution, origination and other operational requirements for the proposed venture, while Hasbro will provide studio-produced programming.

Hasbro will also make a separate investment to establish a creative team that will allow Hasbro to create and produce the consumer-driven content children and families have come to expect from Hasbro's unmatched brands. Creative work will start in the next few months beginning with early stage development for properties including ROMPER ROOM, TONKA, G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS and MY LITTLE PONY. The creative team will have the capability to produce animated, live-action, and game show programming as well as content designed for digital and mobile extensions.

Programming on the network will be designed to entertain and educate, echoing the popularity and appeal of Hasbro's portfolio of brands and Discovery's long-standing commitment to life-long learning with the goal of making our emerging networks more valuable to affiliates and more compelling for viewers. In the tradition of Discovery Kids, this will include a number of daily hours voluntarily devoted to educational/informative content.

The network will continue to operate as Discovery Kids until the debut of the to-be-named channel and new programming slate. Discovery Communications will retain the Discovery Kids brand for, among other things, its international networks and its licensing and merchandising business.

Launched in 1996, Discovery Kids Channel has won multiple Daytime Emmys and Parents' Choice Awards for its series and specials. Discovery Kids programming helps children satisfy their curiosity about a full range of science, adventure, exploration and natural history topics through documentaries, reality shows, scripted dramas and animated stories.

Hasbro was advised by The William Morris Agency (WMA), John Fogelman of WMA and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch & Co. in connection with this transaction.

Discovery was advised by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Conference Call and Webcast Details

At 8:15 a.m. Eastern today, Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner and Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav will host a conference call for media to discuss the new joint venture. To access the conference call, in the U.S. dial 1-800-573-4842, or outside of the U.S. dial 1-617-224-4327, and use the following passcode: 59518157. A live webcast and replay of the call also will be available on Discovery Communications' website at www.discoverycommunications.com and Hasbro's website at www.hasbro.com.

At 8:45 a.m. Eastern today, Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner and Hasbro Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer David Hargreaves will host a conference call for Hasbro investors to further discuss the new joint venture. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav and Discovery CFO Brad Singer also will join the call. To access the Hasbro investor conference call, in the U.S. dial 800-768-6544, or outside of the U.S. dial 785-830-7990. A live webcast of the call will be available on Hasbro's website at http://investor.hasbro.com/ and click on the webcast microphone. The replay will be available on Hasbro's web site approximately 2 hours following completion of the call.


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last 10 shown - scroll to view more   Member Comments

Roadpigmaster
2009-05-03
1:48 pm

[b]Sounds great to me. Now with New dvds od the Original GI JOE cartoon, new video game, new movie, new cartoon, everything is going on the right path for good things for the brand! [/b] 
Roadpigmaster
2009-05-03
1:45 pm

[b]Sounds great to me. Now with New dvds od the Original GI JOE cartoon, new video game, new movie, new cartoon, everything is going on the right path for good things for the brand![/b] 
Viper Hunter
2009-05-01
11:19 pm

[quote name='revSears' post='16559519' date='May 1 2009, 12:38 AM']I'm wondering if CN will continue with TFA now just to keep hasbro from using the competition? make a very minimum amount of episodes or something. Might do the same with resolute but i highly doubt it. I think if the movie ... read more 
pesatyel
2009-05-01
3:51 pm

[quote name='Jmacq1' post='16559600' date='May 1 2009, 09:28 AM'][quote name='die fighting x' post='16559293' date='Apr 30 2009, 10:49 AM']Does a Stretch Armstrong movie [i]really[/i] need to be made? What possible story could they come up with that isn't completely laughable? That may h... read more 
Jmacq1
2009-05-01
1:28 pm

[quote name='die fighting x' post='16559293' date='Apr 30 2009, 10:49 AM']Does a Stretch Armstrong movie [i]really[/i] need to be made? What possible story could they come up with that isn't completely laughable? That may have worked 15 years ago as a Saturday morning cartoon but really...it... read more 
die fighting x
2009-05-01
12:54 pm

[quote name='Viper Hunter' post='16559387' date='Apr 30 2009, 05:30 PM'][quote name='JayC' post='16559363' date='Apr 30 2009, 04:03 PM'][quote name='MrBear' post='16559347' date='Apr 30 2009, 02:17 PM']I take it a network like this would not just be on basic cable. The network alread... read more 
A_Spidey_Fan
2009-05-01
5:41 am

Discovery Kids is a learning and education channel meant for kids and at least early teens. YTV in Canada has actually aired a few of the Discovery Kids shows(Well, the ones produce in Canada), and some of them aren't too bad. I think some U.S. Discovery Kids shows are aired on Saturday mornin... read more 
hamsterboy
2009-05-01
5:08 am

I already get the channel just don't watch it. Too much "educational" stuff for my tastes. 
revSears
2009-05-01
4:38 am

I'm wondering if CN will continue with TFA now just to keep hasbro from using the competition? make a very minimum amount of episodes or something. Might do the same with resolute but i highly doubt it. I think if the movie does even somewhat well it will be more similar to that or sigma six th... read more 
Viper Hunter
2009-04-30
9:30 pm

[quote name='JayC' post='16559363' date='Apr 30 2009, 04:03 PM'][quote name='MrBear' post='16559347' date='Apr 30 2009, 02:17 PM']I take it a network like this would not just be on basic cable. The network already exists, it's called discovery kids. So check your cable line-up to see... read more 
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