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Rival Chinese Platforms iQIYI, Youku Both Pick Up Rebooted ‘Teletubbies’

Variety logo Variety 5/30/2017 Stewart Clarke

Rival Chinese streaming platforms iQIYI and Youku have both picked up the reboot of kids’ live-action series “Teletubbies.”

The Chinese platforms will both carry Seasons 1 and 2 of the new series dubbed into Mandarin. The preschooler show was commissioned by the BBC’s CBeebies network in the U.K. and is sold internationally by Canada-based DHX Media, which struck the China deals.

Youku, owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba, and iQIYI, owned by search engine Baidu, will carry the rebooted “Teletubbies” on their subscription and ad-supported video-on-demand services. Season 1 launches in June. DHX has also sealed a local licensing and merchandising deal for the show, bringing in Promotional Partners Worldwide as the local agent.

“Teletubbies” has a long history in China, with the original series landing on state broadcaster CCTV in 2002 when the BBC handled distribution. The show was then acquired by DHX, which has launched the reboot and has been selling it around the world. The original version was previously picked up by iQIYI and LeTV in China, but the latest streaming deals are the first in China for the new show.

CBeebies launched the new series last year and has greenlit a second season. The show airs on Nick Jr. in the U.S.

“China is a major market for the new Teletubbies’ as we continue the global rollout of the brand,” said Josh Scherba, executive VP of distribution and content at DHX Media. “We are delighted that leading digital platforms continue to license more of our kids’ programming.”

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