Children's media company Genius Brands (NASDAQ:GNUS) is adding a bloc of episodes of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures to its Kartoon Channel!, which is available for both television and mobile devices.
It announced today that it has acquired the two series for an undisclosed sum from 41 Entertainment, a privately held animation company that develops, produces, and distributes television shows. Genius Brands CEO Andy Heyward has described its video channel as "Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) for kids, but free."
Each series has 26 half-hour episodes. Pac-Man started life as a video game over 40 years ago and has remained an iconic character. Sonic is also based on a video game, and the animated series features the voice of actor Jaleel White, who played Steve Urkel in the TV sitcom Family Matters.
Kartoon Channel! launched in June as an advertiser-backed streaming video channel available free.
Shares of the kids' entertainment company rocketed 30% higher on the news in pre-market trading, but opened today up a more modest 8%.
Genius Brands is known for its highly caffeinated press releases that breathlessly announce new developments, a tactic that has helped its shares quadruple in value so far in 2020, despite having lost 90% of their value from their June 52-week high. Still, they trade just above $1 per share, making the stock a very risky investment.