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Acclaimed Children’s Television Show Joins Forces with World’s Leading Classical Music Label in Strategic Distribution Partnership

October 30, 2003

Nashville, Tennessee – Tadpole Entertainment, LLC., licensor of the popular children’s show “The Big Comfy Couch,” has named Naxos of America, Inc. as the exclusive distributor of the show’s DVDs and videos in the United States.  Naxos of America will begin taking new orders immediately, and will initiate order fulfillment the week of November 17, 2003.Visit http://www.bigcomfycouch.tv/

“The Big Comfy Couch” is a critically acclaimed children’s program that began a much anticipated season this spring, with 78 episodes (including 13 new shows) airing on 138 public television affiliates in 83 markets in the United States.  Naxos of America, based in Franklin, Tennessee is the leading independent distributor of classical music in the United States.  It is a subsidiary of Naxos, the world’s foremost classical music label.

Tadpole Entertainment and Naxos view the partnership as an alignment of interests as both companies actively seek additional attention from mainstream retailers and a broader audience of education-conscious parents interested in music and programming that enhance child development.

“Over the past ten years, ‘The Big Comfy Couch’ has been a program that parents consider safe, educational and entertaining,” said Stephen Elsky, director of operations for Tadpole.  “Since its inception, Naxos has also demonstrated a commitment to quality learning through various projects that broaden children’s minds through exposure to classical music.  The similarity of our organization’s missions makes this an ideal partnership.

“The Naxos channels of distribution are widespread and expertly managed,” Elsky said.  “They understand how to reach the audiences that value educational entertainment.”


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Naxos
, hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “the great salvation of classical recording,” will distribute 15 show compilations over the next year, each one available on DVD and VHS.  Presently, Naxos of America manages a catalogue of over 6000 classical and cultural titles on CD and DVD, averaging 50 new titles each month on Naxo and distributed labels.

Jim Sturgeon, president of Naxos of America, sees the partnership as mutually beneficial.  “Our company is constantly looking for ways to expand our presence in the retail sector,” he said.  “To be successful, we must diversify our customer base, which means incorporating new kinds of music and film. The combined strength of Naxos’ distribution channels and the enormous popularity of this show provide an excellent opportunity to increase our shelf space in America’s mainstream retail chains. ”

Naxos has distribution partners in over 60 countries (visit www.naxos.com) and commanding market shares in an ever-growing list of countries and regions throughout the world.  Likewise, “The Big Comfy Couch” is currently viewed in 61.6 percent of U.S. households, reaching 10 million children between the ages of three and five.  The public appeal for Naxos recordings and Tadpole’s award winning show can partly be attributed to both organizations’ straight-forward approach to educating the public –whether its music or morals.

“‘The Big Comfy Couch’ addresses the tough lessons,” said Elsky.  “We are teaching children how to cope with emotions such as jealousy, anger and intimidation.  We are also trying to reach the parents and say: ‘here is a program that you can trust.’  We have attracted some very positive feedback with this approach and I think Naxos shares our ideology of pulling the curtain back and allowing people to see the value of the content.”

Naxos has been aggressive in the development of educational audio materials since 1999.  The label’s endeavors include “Listen, Learn and Grow: music to stimulate and inspire young minds,” a program that seeks to bring classical music to newborns and young children for enhanced development; The Children’s Classical series including narrated titles like Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, and Cinderella; Naxos.com, the company’s comprehensive music website complete with composer biographies and online listening; and Naxos AudioBooks, the label’s literary series that incorporates classical music with readings of famous works of fiction, drama and children’s stories.

“Ultimately, we want to introduce families to different learning tools and different types of culture,” said Sturgeon.  “This distribution agreement will make it possible to reach more people, more efficiently.  Our goal is to make a direct impact on kids everywhere.”

The “Big Comfy Couch” new season brings back the award-winning production team and appealing characters that made The Big Comfy Couch one of television’s most successful children’s shows.  The only preschool series hosted by a child character, The Big Comfy Couch features a world of clowns, dolls, and dustbunnies.  Loonette stars as the appealing little clown-girl – one of the few female leads in children’s educational programming – who, with Molly the doll, lives on a big comfy couch where wild and wacky treasures are found under the cushions.  The show’s guiding principles promote tolerance and acceptance of differences, friendships across racial barriers and being responsible for your own actions.

The Big Comfy Couch is a Radical Sheep production, directed by Robert Mills and produced by Robert Mills and Cheryl Wagner. Executive producer is John Leitch. The program is produced in Canada and distributed in the U.S. by Tadpole Entertainment, LLC, in association with presenting station Nashville Public Television. The Big Comfy Couch is distributed to public television stations by American Public Television.

 










 
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