DIC Entertainment, a fully-integrated global brand management company, is dedicated to creating, developing, producing, distributing, marketing and merchandising family-based intellectual properties. DIC is headquartered in Burbank, California with offices in New York, Paris and London.
DIC serves as the worldwide licensor or licensing agent for renowned brands, such as Strawberry Shortcake, McDonald's, Madeline and Classic Trolls. The company has also distinguished itself by building one of the largest libraries of animation with approximately 2,800 half-hours of programming. DIC's prolific library includes some of the most recognizable children's brands in the world including Inspector Gadget™, Strawberry Shortcake™, Sabrina The Animated Series™, Madeline™, Liberty's Kids™, Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?™, Sonic The Hedgehog™, Super Mario Bros™, Care Bears™ and Trollz™.
DIC's television series have appeared on virtually every broadcast network and cable channel that airs programming for kids and families, including ABC, ABC Family, CBS, NBC, FOX, WB, UPN, HBO, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. In 2006, DIC was named the exclusive supplier of children's programs to CBS.
The Company has received prominent industry awards, including Emmy, Humanitas Prize iParenting , Golden Reel, Cable Ace and Environmental Media Awards, for its series It was the only company to be awarded both an Emmy and Cable Ace Award for best children's program in the same year.
DIC and AOL's online kids' destination, "KOL," have recently formed a co-production partnership to launch in September 2006 a new branded kids' programming block, "KOL's Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party on CBS." The block will feature three hours of educational/informational children's programming from DIC's extensive library, including Sabrina The Animated Series, Madeline and Trollz, as well as original animated and live-action content co-produced by DIC and KOL, including Dance Revolution, CAKE and Horseland.
In 2003, the company also launched the DIC Kid's Network, a unique syndicated programming block designed to meet core FCC requirements and the only network for kids that reaches 98% of U.S. households on over 300 stations. Additionally, DIC is a pre-eminent supplier of children's programming internationally and distributes its programming to over 350 broadcaster licensees in over 200 countries. DIC has developed strategic partnerships with key domestic and international broadcast partners throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia.
In 2004, the DIC Educational Advisory Board was established to provide information, guidance, advice and general expertise in the development of multimedia programs and projects for children. Comprised of leading media experts, educators and pediatricians, affiliated with such institutions as Stanford University, Yale University, the Mayo Clinic and American Academy of Pediatrics, the DIC Educational Advisory Board offers counsel on the developmentally appropriate physical, social, emotional and cognitive theories and practices related to children, and the role of various forms of media and products in the learning and development of children.
DIC's development activities range from creating original characters, such as its flagship property, Inspector Gadget, to acquiring the rights to trend-setting properties from other media, including the hit girl's property Strawberry Shortcake, which has generated over $1 billion in worldwide retail sales (cumulative 2003-2005), and the classic Good Luck Troll, a multi-billion dollar retail phenomenon, and then translating them into successful television, video and consumer product brands. DIC has also partnered with legendary financier, Warren Buffett, to produce and distribute a direct-to-DVD series for kids, The Secret Millionaire's Club. Additionally, the company acquired the popular lifestyle brand franchise, Mommy & Me™, which incorporates a line of books, videos, music and infant consumer products.
DIC became the worldwide licensing agent for the McDonald's Corporation in 2005, and in this capacity, the company will manage McDonald's corporate and McKid's brands on a global basis for third party consumer product licensing and content. DIC is currently developing comprehensive new programs and products for McDonald's McKid's brand that promote balanced active lifestyles through active play, active learning, active entertainment and children's apparel. Additionally, DIC introduced this year a new line of vintage McDonald's apparel utilizing some of McDonald's most memorable ad themes and vintage logos. DIC negotiated a multi-million dollar venture naming Cornerstone Group's China Retail Management subsidiary the "Master Licensee" for McDonald's® McKids line across Asia, excluding Japan and India.
DIC recently announced the acquisition of Copyright Promotions (CPLG), a Pan-European licensing agency that represents the licensing rights of a broad portfolio of world-renowned companies including DreamWorks Animation, MGM, Marvel, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom and The Football Association ("The F.A."). The company has created licensing programs across Europe for high-profile brands including Shrek, The Simpsons, Spider-Man, Star Trek, Pink Panther, Peanuts, Strawberry Shortcake, Dora the Explorer, Care Bears and The F.A. CPLG provides services on a global scale operating through its network of seven European offices.
In the production arena, DIC continues to produce animated properties in-house, as well as to forge strategic co-production alliances with key international broadcasters, including TF1, M6, CBBC, Super RTL, ITV, Televisa, Mediaset and RAI, for series such as Trollz, Sabrina's Secret Life and Inspector Gadget.
DIC Entertainment was founded in Paris in 1971 and was acquired by Andy Heyward, the company's Chairman & CEO, in 1986. DIC was later acquired by ABC/CapCities in 1993 and became a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company in 1995. In 2000, Heyward led the buyout of the business from Disney with Bain Capital and subsequently purchased Bain's interest in 2004. In October 2005, DIC listed its IPO on the AIM unit of the London Stock Exchange in order to fund future growth and development.