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‘Dora’ Goes Mobile as Viacom Unveils TV App for Preschoolers

Viacom Inc. (VIAB) unveiled a mobile application that streams live feeds from its Nick Jr. channel of preschool TV shows such as “Dora the Explorer” and “Paw Patrol” to smartphones and tablets.

While the app, to be introduced next month, is free, customers who want their kids to view the same programming as it appears on television must prove they’re subscribers to a pay-TV outlet, the New York-based company said today in a statement. The move follows last year’s release of Viacom’s Nick app, which has been downloaded more than 8 million times. It feeds from Nickelodeon, another Viacom channel for children.

Television networks have been creating mobile viewing options to keep up with customers’ changing viewing habits while retaining them as subscribers to cable or satellite TV services. Viacom is introducing new shows for Nickelodeon to advertisers in so-called upfront events in New York this week to promote new cable shows for the 2014-2015 season.

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“We have a lot more content and we’re delivering on a promise we made last year to make it better and faster,” said Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom’s Nickelodeon Group, in a telephone interview.

Nickelodeon will premiere more than 100 episodes of preschool programming for the season. The new shows include “Shimmer & Shine,” about twin genies who unintentionally create chaos granting wishes for a human friend.

The apps will also be an outlet for the company’s short films, 17 of which will also air on Nickelodeon, as part of a push by Viacom to develop a new generation of animators.

Viacom shares fell 1.3 percent to $87.10 today at the close in New York. The stock has risen 40 percent in the past 12 months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Ben Livesey, Stephen West

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