Published: 10.42 Europe/London, April 21, 2011

Turner Broadcasting’s UK pre-school channel Cartoonito is to be given distribution across Europe.

From September Cartoonito, which features popular pre-school programming for three to six year-olds including Fireman Sam, Baby Looney Tunes and the Care Bears, will launch as a branded block on Boomerang in a number of territories. In Turkey and the Middle East, where Boomerang is unavailable, the Cartoonito block will broadcast on Cartoon Network.

Michael Carrington, chief content officer, Turner Broadcasting said: “We’re incredibly excited to be making such a big splash in the preschool market, with a full scale rollout of Cartoonito across EMEA. Whilst Controller of CBeebies, I’d always admired Cartoonito from afar, and having the opportunity to extend this wonderful preschool brand across EMEA was one I couldn’t resist.”

Launched in May 2007, Cartoonito has slowly built up its position, a deal with Virgin Media last May making it the most widely distributed pre-school channel on pay-TV. The increased distribution will place Cartoonito in 125 million homes across 112 territories.

Turner hopes Cartoonito will act as a stepping stone both to Cartoon Network itself and the family orientated Boomerang.

It is a competitive market also inhabited by Nick Jr, Disney Jr (the rebranded Playhouse Disney), and locally originated channels.

The launch slate Cartoonito includes the new CGI series of Bananas in Pyjamas (pictured) and the Spanish-produced Jelly Jamm.