Disney Channels Worldwide is a television broadcast and cable channel unit of Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International that operates various children and family television channels around the world: Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Disney Cinemagic, Dlife, and Hungama TV.
ABC Cable Networks Group, Inc. (current DBA name unknown) is a subsidiary of Disney–ABC Television Group, a unit of Disney Media Networks, a division of The Walt Disney Company. This subsidiary is responsible for operating cable Disney Channels in the US plus Radio Disney, Disney Television Animation and It's a Laugh Productions.
Disney Channel was originally established in the United States in 1983 as a premium cable channel, and has since converted to a basic service; in addition, Disney Channel's programming has also expanded internationally with the launch of various country-specific and regional versions of the channel, as well as program licensing agreements reached with television networks not bearing the Disney Channel brand.
Previous corporate names were: Walt Disney Entertainment, Inc. (1982–1983), The Disney Channel, Inc. (1983–1997), Disney Channel, Inc. (1997–2001).
On November 10, 1981, Walt Disney Productions and Westinghouse Broadcasting released that they had agreed to start a family-oriented cable television service. In 1982, Disney hired Alan Wagner to develop a cable channel.
By July 15, 1982, Disney incorporated Walt Disney Entertainment, Inc. which was renamed by January 28, 1983 to The Disney Channel, Inc. The channel, The Disney Channel, was launched in April 1983 with 16 hours of programming as a premium channel. The channel became profitable in January 1985,
20 months after launch, The channel moved into the home satellite dish market thus scrambling its signal. The channel started moving to the basic cable level on September 1, 1990 with TCI Montgomery Cablevision. In March 1995, the second Disney Channel began broadcasting in Taiwan while the third is launched in October for the United Kingdom.
By September 29, 1997, the corporate name was shorten to Disney Channel, Inc. Disney had hired Geraldine Laybourne in 1996 away from the Nickelodeon channel she founded for a kids channel codename ABZ that the media speculated to be a pre-school age channel. Laybourne dismissed this report. In December 1997, the Toon Disney channel was announced as a basic channel consisting of Disney classic animation. As of April 1, 1998, most of the international version are pay channels while Taiwan and Malaysia are ad supported and the USA is a basic channel. The Toon Disney Channel was launched on April 18, 1998 on the Disney Channel's 15 anniversary.
In 2000, the Playhouse Disney preschool channel was launched in the United Kingdom, while in the US the Playhouse Disney block was launched on the Disney Channel. In June 2001, Disney was looking into launch Playhouse as channel in the United States in 2002.
Disney Channel, Inc. changed its name to ABC Cable Networks Group, Inc. by January 31, 2001. In October 2003, ABC Family Worldwide was changed from a Disney COO direct reporting unit to being within the ABC Cable Networks Group. In early 2004, Disney Channel original programming leaders took over ABC Family's original movies unit temporarily as two ABC Family executive left the channel.
In January 2004, Fox Kids Europe, Fox Kids Latin America and ABC Cable Networks Group agreed to the Jetix programming alliance that would rebrand Fox Kids as Jetix for all blocks, channels and companies. ABC1 channel launched on United Kingdom digital terrestrial television platform on September 27, 2004.
In 2006, Disney TV India acquired Hungama TV from UTV Software Communications Limited. Disney Cinemagic began broadcasting in the UK in March 2006 as the start to the launch of several Cinemagic channels including timeshift and HD versions across Western Europe. ABC1 ceased broadcasting on all UK TV platforms at noon on September 26, 2007.
In Spain, Walt Disney Company Iberia purchased, in February 2008, 20% of Management Company Television Net TV SA (or NET TV). The company announced in late May 2008 the move of Disney Channel to a digital over the air channel replacing NET TV's Fly Music on July 1, 2008.
The company's Japanese unit, Walt Disney Television International Japan, in March 2008 started procuring its own animated shows with their first two to debut at Tokyo International Anime Fair 2008. With Madhouse Company, the company was producing Stitch!. While “Fireball” is being produced with Jinni’s Animation Studios.
After two TV series stars had various scandals, the company started in 2009 a set of classes for their young stars adapt to the pressure of fame. Optional monthly life skill classes were added in 2014.
Disney XD (DXD) was launched on February 13, 2009, taking over the channel space of Toon Disney in the US, while Jetix switched over to DXD (or for some Disney Channel) starting with France on April 1. Also in April, the Walt Disney Co., Ltd. Japan and Disney Channels Worldwide started Broadcast Satellite Disney Co., Ltd. to broadcast a women and family targeted channel, Dlife, with licensed received in October 2010 and debuted on March 17, 2012.
Jetix Play was closed on August 1, 2010 in most countries, on September 1, 2010 in Turkey, and in Romania it closed on March 12, 2011. In the most countries the channel was replaced with Playhouse Disney.
On May 26, 2010, Disney–ABC Television Group announced the launch of Disney Junior, which would replace the Playhouse Disney morning block on sister network Disney Channel in February 2011, and extend to a standalone preschooler-oriented channel that would replace Soapnet in January 2012. All 22 Playhouse Disney channels and blocks outside the U.S. also were renamed to "Disney Junior" in 2011.
In October 2011, Disney reached a joint venture agreement (49%/51%) with UTH Russia for UTH to turn its broadcasting network Seven TV into a Disney Channel starting in early 2012. On March 28, 2013, Cinemagic was replaced in the UK market with Sky Movies Disney under license to BSkyB.
In April 2013, Disney announced that Das Vierte, its recent purchased broadcast station in Germany, would become a Disney Channel in January 2014 as a 24-hour family entertainment network. Disney formed an in house ad sales company, Disney Media +, for the channel given that two competitors control most ad sales companies.
Disney India Media Networks is shutting down its Bindass Play Hindi music channel to replace it with Disney International HD channel on October 29, 2017. This general entertainment channel is in English and HD, targeted to ages 14 to 25 and tapping only Disney live action shows.
With the March 14, 2018 Disney Company reorganization, all international channels including Disney Channels have been transferred to Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, a new segment, with US channels remaining with Disney–ABC Television Group.
The international channels brands the on-air look consistently to the Disney brand. Individual channel managers are allowed to develop schedules and marketing programs to allow for the children's preferences in the market. Additional, local programming is acquired that meet Disney's standards which is difficult. After a program is successful in a market, the program's format may be developed for other Disney Channels' market viewing tastes.
|Market||Type||Formerly||Launch date||Other nations||Operator|
|United States||Channel||N/A||April 18, 1983||None||Disney CWW|
|UK||Channel||October 1995||Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Ireland, Bulgaria, Iceland, Finland||Disney Co. Ltd. (UK/Europe)|
|Channel +1||September 2000||Spain, Ireland|
|Australia||Channel||June 1996||New Zealand|
|France||Channel||March 1997||Luxembourg, Switzerland||Disney Co. France|
|Middle East and North Africa||Channel||(English) April 1997
|Arab World||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Spain||Digital terrestrial channel||April 1998||none||Management Company Television Net TV SA†|
|Pay cable channel HD||2012|
|Italy||Channel||1998 Fall||none||Disney Co. Italy|
|Disney in English||2008|
|Germany||Channel||1999||Luxembourg, Austria||Disney Co. (Germany)|
|Channel, broadcast||Das Vierte||January 17, 2014|
|Southeast Asia||Channel||January 2000||Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines, South Korea||The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia|
|Japan||Channel||November 2003||Walt Disney TV International Japan|
|Scandinavia (Finnish)||Channel||2003||Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Scandinavia (Norwegian)||Channel||2003||Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia|
|Scandinavia (Danish)||Channel||2003||Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia|
|Hong Kong||Channel||April 2, 2004||Walt Disney Television International - Asia Pacific|
|Thailand||Channel||N/A||January 2005||Walt Disney Television Intl. (Southeast Asia/Korea)|
|Poland||Channel||December 1, 2006||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Turkey||Channel||2007||None||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Russian||Channel, cable||Jetix||March 2010||CIS||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Channel, broadcast||Seven TV||2012||JV with UTH Russia|
|Albania||Channel||June 1, 2012||Kosovo||Digitalb|
|Croatia||Channe||2013||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Serbia||Channel||April 2008||Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro|||
|Bulgaria||Channel||CEE Jetix||September 2009|||
|Romania||Channel||CEE Jetix||September 2009||Bulgaria|
|Netherlands||Channel||2009||Belgium||Jetix Europe Channels B.V.|
|Hungary||Channel||Jetix||September 2009||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Slovakia||Channel||Jetix||September 2009||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Slovenia||Channel||Jetix||September 2009||none||Disney Co. Ltd.|
|Portugal||Channel||November 2001||Disney Co. - Portugal|
|India||Channel||December 17, 2004||Disney India Media Networks|
|Korea||Channel||April 1, 2011||Television Media Korea (SK Telecom 51% and Disney Channels International 49% venture)|
|Channel HD||April 1, 2011|
|Canada English||Channel||September 1, 2015||Corus Entertainment|
|Canada French||Télétoon Rétro|
† Management Company Television Net TV SA is owned by Vocento SA, The Walt Disney Company Iberia S.L. (20%) and Intereconomía Corporation SA. Which in addition to the Disney channels owns Intereconomia TV, a generalist channel.
Disney Channel Asia was launched in January 2000 as a single video feed with an English audio track being the default and Mandarin audio and subtitle tracks also available. The channel became available in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines. On June 1, 2002, the channel was launched in the South Korea market as a Korean-language feed. Over the first six months of 2005, Disney Channel Asia along with sister channel Playhouse Disney launched in Vietnam, Palau and Thailand and finishing off with a launch of both in Cambodia, its 11th market, with Cambodia Entertainment Production Co. Ltd. as distributor.
Disney Channel was recently launched a channel in mainland China.[when?] However, many of its live-action and animated series are still syndicated on regional channels through ABC owned Dragon Club since 1994. It also has a Chinese website.
Previously, Disney programming was available through programming blocks starting as early as 1994 with Doordarshan then moving to Zee TV until the early 2001s. Disney moved its block to Sony Television for three years. Star TV pick up Disney TV blocks on Star Plus, Disney Time, and on Star Utsav.
In December 2004, Walt Disney Television International India launched a Toon Disney channel with three language feeds (English, Tamil and Telugu) at the same time as the Disney Channel with Star TV network distributing the channels. Disney reached an agreement with Doordarshan (DD) in November 2005 for DD to carry a half-hour block called Disney Jadoo. Thus Disney was up to 4 branded blocks in India.
|Market||Disney Channel||Disney Junior||Disney XD||Cinemagic
|United States||April 18, 1983 West, East HD, West HD||February 13, 2009||Radio Disney
Radio Disney Country
|United Kingdom||October 1995, +1, HD||May 2011, +1, HD||August 31, 2009, +1, HD||(2006-2013) Sky Movies Disney, HD (2013; BSkyB)||ABC1 (2004- 2007)|
|France||March 1997, +1, HD||2011, HD||April 1, 2009 ; HD||(2007-2015, +1, HD) Disney Cinema (May 8, 2015 -)||Disney Nature TV (2012-)|
|Portugal||November 28, 2001||Junior||(October 2008-2012)|
|Spain||April 1998, +1, HD †||June 2011||2009, HD||2008-January 1, 2015||Intereconomía TV (2005) †|
|Middle East and North Africa||April 1997
|2011||2009||OSN Movies Disney HD (2018; OSN)|
|Germany||1999, HD||2011||2009, +1||2009, HD|
|Russian||Cable (March 2010); broadcasting (2012; UTH Russia Joint venture)||2013|
|Italy||1998, +1, +2, HD, Mobile, Disney in English||2011, +1||September 2009, +1, +2|
|Netherlands||2009||2011||January 1, 2010|
|Scandinavia (Danish)||2003, HD||2011||September 12, 2009|
|Scandinavia (Finnish)||2003||2011||September 12, 2009|
|Scandinavia (Norwegian)||2003||2011||September 12, 2009|
|Scandinavia (Sweden)||2003||2011||September 12, 2009|
|Poland||2006, HD||2010||September 2009|
|Australia||June 1996||May 29, 2011||April 10, 2014||Foxtel Movies Disney (April 10, 2014 Foxtel)|
|Taiwan||March 1995||September 1, 2011 (block)
|Philippines||1998||July 11, 2011 (PH)|
|India||December 17, 2004||October 15, 2012||November 14, 2009|
|Japan||November 2003||Fall 2012||August 2009||Dlife|
|Canada (DHX Media))||English, French (both May 6, 2011-September 18, 2015)||June 1, 2011 - October 9, 2015|
|Canada (Corus)||English, French (both September 1, 2015)||December 1, 2015 English (Channel), French (Block) ||ABC Spark|
|Latin America||Channel||April 1, 2011||July 3, 2009|
|Asia||January 2000||July 11, 2011|
|South Africa||September 25, 2006||June 1, 2011||May 11, 2011|
|Korea (Television Media Korea)||April 1, 2011, HD||April 11, 2011, HD|
Europe, Middle East and Africa Markets source
On April 16, 2015, Corus Entertainment announced that it had reached a multi-year agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group to acquire Canadian rights to Disney Channel's program library, and launched Disney Channel in Canada on September 1, 2015—the first time that a Disney Channel-branded network has operated in Canada.
Prior to this agreement, rights to Disney Channel programming had been held by Family Channel—owned by children's media conglomerate DHX Media, which is licensed as a premium service but is carried as a basic service by many television providers. As a result of the fact that the majority of Disney Channel U.S.'s programs aired on Family, coupled with the fact that both channels developed similarly in their respective countries (as both began as premium services before adding availability via basic cable), Family Channel was commonly considered to be a de facto Canadian version of Disney Channel (though it was often mistakenly assumed to be related to ABC Family (now Freeform), a sister network to Disney Channel U.S. which was formerly known as The (emphasis added) Family Channel from 1988 to 1998; a Canadian version of ABC Family (now Freeform) launched in March 2012, called ABC Spark to avoid confusion with Family Channel, to which it does not share common ownership). Some Canadian-produced original series produced by Family (such as Life with Derek, Naturally, Sadie, and Overruled!) have aired on Disney Channel in the United States and in other countries in the past. In addition to its program distribution agreement with Disney Channel U.S., Family also operated an English-language version of Disney Junior as a multiplex channel, as CRTC rules allow cable channels licensed as premium services to add multiplex channels consistent with the network's license. Disney XD and a French-language version of Disney Junior were also owned by DHX Media, operating under separate licenses.
DHX's program supply agreement with Disney ended on January 1, 2016; as a result of these re-alignments, its Disney-branded networks were re-launched as spin-offs of the Family brand beforehand on September 18, 2015 (Family Jr. and Télémagino) and October 9, 2015 (Family Chrgd).
In April 2009, the Walt Disney Co., Ltd. Japan and Disney Channels Worldwide started Broadcast Satellite Disney Co., Ltd. to broadcast a women and family targeted channel, Dlife, with licensed received in October 2010 and debuted on March 17, 2012. In December 2013, Dlife launched a children's programming block called Disney Time.
Disney Channels Worldwide includes over 100 channels available in 34 languages and 166 countries/territories. Branded channels include Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Disney Cinemagic, Hungama and DLife.