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Telecable: forced to produce to meet distribution needs.

"We started as distributors, but we couldn't find product that we really believed in. That's why we started producing our own projects," said Sjoerd Raemakers, director of commercial affairs at Telecable, in Holland. "We do the distribution ourselves because we feel that no third party could participate as effectively as we can, because we know our series inside and out."

Telecable specializes in children's/youth programming with an emphasis on animation. "We aim at producing one series per year -- 52 half-hours. We tend to produce only soft animation, with the potential to be classics. Compared to other outlets that are doing a lot more animation, we do less so we can create something with real quality. We want to be known as a boutique rather than a wholesaler."

Telecable's Alfred J. Kwak, (starring a duck) is the number one animated series in Europe. Moomin, a fantasy animal character originally created by a Finnish writer/illustrator in the '30s, and famous in the Nordic countries, is a smash hit in Scandinavia. In addition to the series, the company is producing a full-length theatrical feature based on the Moomin character.

"Telecable is currently in production of 104 half-hours for the European marketplace. The major territories have already pre-bought the series. When production is completed, we will look at the English-language market and see how we can introduce the show to the U.S. -- because we have other series as well as we'd like to place in the U.S.," pointed out Raemakers.

Previously, Telecable co-produced two animated series, Oxtails and Wowser with Saban. Wowser was seen on The Family Channel in the U.S.

Currently in preparation is Star Street, which Telecable plans to have on the air by fall '92. "We are working with American composers, writers and designers on this one," said Raemakers. "In most cases, the concept for our series is conceived in Europe. We do the pre-and-post production here, while the key animation is done in Japan."

Telecable is part of the holding company, Media Holdings Benelux. Within that structure is Benelux Licensing Group, and also part of the alliance is a facility company and two satellite channels for the Dutch-speaking audience.
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Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:company profile
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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