FFW advises Chello Zone on TV joint venture with HIT

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has embraced the world of children’s television, advising international broadcaster and TV distributor Chello Zone on a 10-year joint venture with HIT Entertainment, the home of popular children’s programmes such as Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu, Barney and Fireman Sam.

FFW’s instruction on the deal came on the back of a relationship that partner Neil Foster built up with the Liberty Group at his former firm Morrison & Foerster.

“I’ve worked with the Liberty Global group for years so I represent a number of the companies in the group, from Chellomedia to Chello Zone, and was chosen to do this work,” said Foster.

Last summer FFW also advised Chello Zone when it acquired the UK-based television company JimJam, which broadcasts children’s television primarily in Italy. That acquisition paved the way for the latest joint venture between HIT Entertainment and Chello Zone, which will see the JimJam channel being rolled out across Central Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

“Over the 10 years it will be a very significant joint venture,” said Foster.

He added: “It’s fun to close a deal that, for the first time, my small children have some interest in.”

HIT Entertainment was represented by Covington & Burling partner Ralph Voltmer in Washington DC.

Chellomedia, which owns Chello Zone, is one of the largest cable providers in Europe.