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ZooMoo: made in NZ, broadcast in Asia

MEDIA RELEASE: NHNZ, Dunedin, 4 April: On Friday Dunedin production house NHNZ launched ZooMoo – an all original wildlife channel and second screen app for children aged 3 to 6-years-old – on StarHub in Singapore.

ZooMoo is the World’s only children’s channel that is fully dedicated to animals. The channel comes with a fully synchronized second screen application that allows ZooMoo channel viewers to automatically collect every animal they encounter on the TV screen and bring them to life on their tablet or smart phone.

The ZooMoo Channel and App are produced by NHNZ of New Zealand and Beach House Pictures of Singapore (BHP). It is their first major joint initiative after being acquired by David Haslingden, former President of Fox Networks Group.

“Given NHNZ and BHP’s rich tradition in natural history programming, a channel devoted to wildlife was a perfect fit for their expertise and their passion. ZooMoo is the first ever children’s channel devoted entirely to animals as well as being the first channel of any kind to be fully synchronized with an evolving digital game for phones and tablets.”

ZooMoo’s programming strategy is led by Sydney Suissa who joined ZooMoo in 2012 after a long career at National Geographic Channel as EVP of Content where he oversaw all of the programming carried by Nat Geo Channels around the World.

“As every parent knows, children have a natural affinity and affection for animals. The chance to be the first group to use the power of TV to fully tap into that was too good to pass up.”

Kyle Murdoch, Managing Director of NHNZ, sees ZooMoo as an incredible opportunity for NHNZ to diversify the range of content it produces.

“There are channels that meet broader age group needs, but nothing that focuses on this demographic. We have such an advantage given our massive archive of over 200,000 clips, we have been telling wildlife stories for 35 years so we really know our animals. ZooMoo has already been launched in Brazil and will continue to be rolled out in regions all over the world.”

The inventive genius behind much of ZooMoo’s programming is Emmy Award-winning Creative Director Ian McGee. Twenty five years ago Mr. McGee took his Zoology degree to NHNZ to produce television about animals. He has brought together a specialized team of about 50 animators, puppeteers, directors, shooters, and editors, all operating from their studio in NHNZ’s headquarters in Dunedin.

“Producing ZooMoo is the best job in the world. We find fascinating facts about the planet’s most amazing animals, mix them together with some of the world’s best wildlife footage, and throw in a cast of crazy puppet and animated characters. What’s not to love?” NHNZ’s interactive team, headed up by George Sealy, was pulled on board to build ZooMoo’s revolutionary second screen app. The ZooMoo app, which is synchronized to the broadcast of the channel, is home to over 100 animals that children can collect.

Dr Sealy says that the second screen app is very different from anything else that is being done on the market.

“ZooMoo is the first channel designed from its inception with the goal of co-existing on a synchronized basis across multiple screens. The second screen technology allows children to learn about animals at their own pace. They can see animals on ZooMoo shows and continue to learn about those very animals after the show is over with their tablet,” says Dr Sealy.

At launch ZooMoo’s programming comprises over 3,000 separate animal stories which have been scheduled into unique one hour blocks under a structure developed in consultation with leading childhood learning specialists.

The ZooMoo channel was first launched in Brazil in September 2013 and is slated to launch in other markets across Latin America, Europe and Asia this year. The ZooMoo App is a free download available on iOS and Android. Check out the ZooMoo website for videos, photos and more. Follow ZooMoo on Twitter and on Facebook.

About NHNZ
NHNZ is a major global producer of factual television creating original content for Animal Planet, Discovery, Smithsonian, Nat Geo Wild, CCTV and NHK. Highly regarded for its 35-year plus natural history heritage, more recently NHNZ has branched out to other factual genres with hit shows like I Survived… for A&E’s Bio Channel and Redwood Kings for Animal Planet. The company’s storytelling prowess has been recognized with more than 250 international awards including Emmy awards and the prestigious Wildscreen Panda. In addition to its base in Dunedin, New Zealand, NHNZ has offices in Beijing and Washington DC. www.nhnz.tv

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