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Nick, Sony to Develop Music, TV Projects

Nickelodeon and Sony hope to make sweet music together under a major four-year partnership that is expected to yield numerous television and music projects.

The new deal calls for the development and production of projects ranging from TV series and original movies that will air on Nick to upward of 14 CD releases over the four years based on Nick on-air talent and content, according to Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon/MTV Networks Kids and Family Group.

The first project is expected to be a fall soundtrack release from the first season of Nickelodeon’s tween-targeted series, The Naked Brothers Band. Zarghami also said a number of upcoming musical projects will come from its Nick Jr. preschool programming block.

“Through this deal with Sony, we will have a steady pipeline of creative ideas for great projects relevant to our audience,” she added.

Nickelodeon and Sony have worked together in the past, partnering since 2004 on several CD releases, including last year’s Dora the Explorer CD, which sold more than 500,000 units.

But Nick’s music sales have paled in comparison to those of competitor Disney Channel. Tween-targeted Disney sold more than 10 million records last year through the combined soundtrack sales from original movies The Cheetah Girls 2 and High School Musical, as well as original series Hannah Montana.

“Clearly, Disney proved that there’s a tween appetite for music, and clearly, the music business believes that this is an audience that’s interested,” Zarghami said. “You can’t deny that the success of Disney over that past year has made it feel that it’s a business worth being in, but it’s a direction that we would have headed in anyway.”

Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music Label Group, said in a prepared statement that the company is “looking forward to sharing our music with the innovative creative team at Nickelodeon, and together, we will launch new talent that will be featured on their programming.”