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Thunderbirds fly into Canada

A pair of Canadian broadcasters have picked up the classic 1960s puppet show Thunderbirds from Carlton International, with various licensing and merchandising activities stemming from the acquisitions.

YTV, a Canadian kids' cabsat channel with over 8m subscribers, has bought 64 half-hours of the digitally-remastered Gerry Anderson shows for airing from this week, stripped four nights a week in primetime.

The hour-long version of Thunderbirds is also stripped through weekday primetime plus weekends on BBC Kids, a new speciality channel in Canada.

On the merchandise front, Irwin Toys will be distributing the range of Thunderbirds toys from Vivid Imaginations in Canada, with a launch planned for later this year. Irwin also distributes the Thunderbirds board game created by Pressman Games. New Video has released DVDs of the programme.

The deals came via Charles Day of the Sharpe Company, Carlton International's appointed agent in the US and Canada for Thunderbirds licensing.

Carlton has clocked up broadcast sales into over 50 territories, including deals with Foxtel (Australia), TV3 (New Zealand), Canal Jimmy (France), Tohokushinsha (Japan), Kid Central, MediaCorp TV12 (Singapore) and Star TV (Asia).

At MipTV just gone, international channel TechTV also bought the US rights for 32 episodes of Thunderbirds.


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