NCircle Gets Belgian Kids' Series9 Apr, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Family and children's home entertainment distributor NCircle Entertainment, a unit of Alliance Entertainment Corp., April 9 announced the signing of a DVD distribution deal for Belgian children's television program, Hopla.
Under terms of the multiyear deal, NCircle will become the exclusive U.S. and Canadian distributor of TV product from Ostend, Belgium-based Bert Smet Productions.
Created by Smets in 1999 for children under the age of five, the 3-D CGI animated series features an ongoing story about a curious rabbit named Hopla and his friends Onki the pig, Lola the cat and Nina the bear.
The series has expanded internationally to countries like Canada, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Finland, with future plans to enter the rest of Scandinavia. Currently there are 104 episodes already produced and there are plans for 26 new titles per year in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
In Belgium alone, Hopla's home entertainment titles have sold more than 300,000 units, and their book-related merchandise has garnered sales are close to 700,000 units.
“The Bert Smets partnership represents our most far-reaching deal, especially with the addition of broadcast, consumer products and publishing rights,” said Debbie Ries, SVP and GM. “Hopla is an important addition to our growing library of quality family-friendly entertainment. The creative educational series further rounds out our diverse children's offerings.”