Start-up kids channel costs Hasbro US$9.3m

Toy company Hasbro’s share of the start-up costs of recently launched US kids channel The Hub mean it lost US$9.3 million on the venture in 2010. The cable channel is a joint-venture between Hasbro and factual channel operator Discovery and launched on October 10 last year, replacing Discovery Kids.

Reporting full-year results, Hasbro said it was encouraged by The Hub’s start, claiming it is the kids network with the highest proportion of parent-child co-viewing.

“We are pleased with the ratings progress since the launch and we believe the marketing investments in the network are working,” the company said in a results presentation. “The Hub currently has more than 80 advertisers, up from 50 at the launch, most of which had never advertised on Discovery Kids.”

Hasbro has inaugurated its own production division, which makes content for the new kids channel. It has inked programming deals with Corus (Canada), Mediaset (Italy) and Cartoon Network across Europe. There is also a deal with Fox’s formats division Fox Look, which distributes its gameshow and reality titles.

“We expect to see Hasbro Studios programming in additional regions throughout the world by Fall 2011,” Hasbro said.