A bit of a catfight has broken out between Hallmark Channel and Animal Planet after Hallmark announced that it will counterprogram Animal Planet’s Super Bowl counterprogramming during the upcoming NFL title game, as we announced Tuesday. But the fight appears to be mostly playful, at this point.
TheWrap.com reports that Animal Planet’s "Puppy Bowl" will return for its 10th installment in February, but this year it will face competition from Hallmark’s "Kitten Bowl," which will roll out three hours earlier, bowing at noon ET on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. "Kitten Bowl" will run on "a long repetitive loop," TheWrap notes.
The report says Animal Planet, which airs the "Puppy Bowl" during halftime of the Super Bowl, called Hallmark Channel’s planned "Kitten Bowl" a "copy cat."
“With the record-breaking success of Animal Planet’s ‘Puppy Bowl,’ our famous Kitty Half-Time Show and the huge viewership for our live Kitten Cam, we’re not surprised by a ‘copy cat,’” a representative for Animal Planet told the publication. "After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
A spokesperson for Hallmark Channel told TheWrap: “We thought kittens should have their day. ‘Kitten Bowl’ is part of the network’s animal advocacy campaign, Pet Project, which is designed to shine a spotlight on and make a difference in this country’s epidemic of pet homelessness, while celebrating the many gifts pets bring to our lives every day. The kitties participating in ‘Kitten Bowl’ will be adopted to loving families … making puppies and kittens, alike, winners on Super Bowl Sunday.”
TheWrap adds: "The claws may be coming out a little bit, but puns-ahead Animal Planet is playing nice, at least publicly." The network’s rep told the publication: “We’re just happy that pet adoption is being promoted and more animals are finding their fur-ever homes."