TFE/TFE Licensing, October 2019

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Moonbug Looks to Score in Untapped Programming Segment



ast year, industry vets Renée Rechtman and John Robson founded a new kids entertainment company, one focused on taking a digital-first approach to content development and acquisitions. That company is Moonbug. Since launching, it has hit the ground running, first with the acquisition of the global-leading preschool nursery rhyme series Little Baby Bum, followed by a round of Series A investments from The Raine Group, Felix Capital and Fertita Capital along with further brand acquisitions (Go Buster!, KiiYii, My Magic Pet Morphle, Glove and Boots, Gecko’s Garage, and Dr. Poppy’s Pet Rescue). Thus far, Moonbug properties combined have 55-plus million subscribers and garner more than one billion views per month across properties. More recently, the company acquired the South African digital soccer series, Supa Strikas. “We’re identifying categories that we know, based on all the data that we see, kids love, and kids are passionate about,” says Andy Yateman, head of Americas, Moonbug. “Then we’re identifying specific IP in each of those categories that we think have the potential to be grown, with some investment, to be a lot bigger and turned into franchises.” While Little Baby Bum seems like a no-brainer to anyone familiar with the property and the rise of the digital nursery rhyme segment, in the case of Supa Strikas, soccer has remained an untapped segment for programming. “Our whole business is built on global platforms such as You-

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Tube, Netflix, Amazon,” says Yateman. “So, we’re programming for a global audience and particularly in the case of soccer, there’s a lot of white space. Traditional entertainment companies have not focused on all that much in terms of fiction-based soccer content for kids. We see this as a foundation to build on.” The series follows the world’s best soccer team as they journey across the globe and even to outer space on a quest to win the prized Super League trophy. Since its debut in 2009, it has released six 13-episode seasons, the latest of which debuted this summer. Moonbug is now working with the South African creative team behind the series to develop new episodes that will air in 2020, as well as brand new soccer-based spin-offs that will be distributed around the world. Supa Strikas is already available in 27 languages and in more than 100 countries worldwide, but it’s never been available in the U.S.—until now. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect, right on the heels of the success and popularity of the U.S. Women’s Soc-