Virgin Media (LSE:VMED)(NASDAQ:VMED) today announced a new agreement with Turner Broadcasting to make available the popular preschool kids’ channel Cartoonito to its 3.7 million digital TV customers for the first time, as well as a range of Cartoonito shows on demand. As part of the expanded line-up of content, Virgin Media has also secured the rights to bring a range of Turner Broadcasting content available to its customers, both online and through mobiles.

Cartoonito is home to popular preschool shows such as Fireman Sam, the Care Bears and Hi-5 and will be included in the line-up of channels available to customers on Virgin Media ‘L’ or ‘XL’ TV pack from April. It joins the raft of Turner Broadcasting channels already available on Virgin Media including kids’ channels Cartoon Network, Boomerang and CN Too, international news channel CNN, and classic film channel TCM (Turner Classic Movies). The Turner Broadcasting on demand offering will also ramp up with shows such as Go And… and Cartoonito Karaoke from Cartoonito which join Cartoon Network and Boomerang shows on demand for kids to watch at any time.

Virgin Media has also secured rights to bring Turner Broadcasting content to customers online or through mobiles. The online elements include a range of TV on demand including shows such as Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 and Boomerang’s Scooby Doo, as well as new content from Cartoonito. The deal also means Virgin Media will be able to bring customers mobile versions of popular shows from Cartoon Network and Boomerang, as well as simulcast news from CNN.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media said : “With the addition of Cartoonito and a huge range of TV on demand content, families are going to be spoilt for choice on Virgin Media. Kids already have access to some of the best shows on demand and our expanded line up from Turner Broadcasting will let kids enjoy their favourite shows at any time of the day, morning or evening. In addition, our new deal with Turner Broadcasting will provide a huge boost to our three screen strategy as we develop an innovative new way for our customers to enjoy content. With the most compelling TV service in the UK, families will be able enjoy premium entertainment at home, online, or on the move.”

Tal Hewitt, Vice President of Distribution and Business Development at Turner Broadcasting adds: “We’re looking forward to working closely with Virgin Media in the near future to expand our content offering across all of its three screens. Particularly exciting is adding Cartoonito to the mix. Cartoonito had a phenomenal year in 2009 as the fastest growing kids channel year on year, and this deal opens the channel up to an even wider audience, making Cartoonito the most widely distributed Pay TV preschool channel in the UK.”

About Virgin Media

With almost 10 million customers, Virgin Media is the UK's first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile.

The company is one of the largest residential broadband providers in the UK, using a unique fibre optic cable network to deliver next generation ultrafast internet access of up to 50Mb to just over half of all homes. Combined with a high speed ADSL service and mobile broadband products, Virgin Media is able to offer broadband internet access to virtually the entire country.

Virgin Media has the UK’s most advanced TV on demand service and was the first TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer. It is the second largest provider of pay TV, was the first to launch a high definition TV service and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder.

The company operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media also owns Virgin Media Television (VMtv) which runs seven entertainment channels, including Virgin1, LIVING, Bravo and Challenge. VMtv is a 50 per cent joint partner with BBC Worldwide in UKTV, which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi.

Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange (VMED).

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About Turner Broadcasting

Turner Broadcasting delivers some of the world’s most successful and well-known news and entertainment brands – CNN, Cartoon Network, CN Too, Boomerang, Cartoonito, TCM (Turner Classic Movies), and Adult Swim. The company now broadcasts 21 entertainment channels in 17 languages across approximately 100 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. With a rich history of innovation, Turner Broadcasting is continuing to push the boundaries of media being at the forefront of development with its brands via the web, VOD, DVD, gaming, mobile, merchandising, publishing and emerging platforms.

Copyright Business Wire 2010