Disney Branded Television

  (Redirected from Disney Channels Worldwide)

Disney Branded Television is a unit of Disney General Entertainment Content which oversees development and production of content geared towards children, teenagers and families for currently for Disney+, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD and formerly for Toon Disney, Jetix, and Playhouse Disney.[1] The unit also oversees all Disney+ and Disney Channels unscripted series and specials.

Disney Branded Television
  • Walt Disney Entertainment, Inc. (1982–1983)
  • The Disney Channel, Inc. (1983–1997)
  • Disney Channel, Inc. (1997–2001)
  • ABC Cable Networks Group (2001–2005)
  • Disney Channels Worldwide (2005–2020)
GenreChildren and family
FoundedJuly 15, 1982; 39 years ago (1982-07-15)
FounderAlan Wagner
Number of locations
Area served
Worldwide (Except Cuba, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Mongolia and North Korea)
Key people
Ayo Davis (President)
ServicesTelevision content
OwnerThe Walt Disney Company
ParentDisney General Entertainment Content
SubsidiariesIt's a Laugh Productions

Prior to the formation of Disney Branded Televion, Disney Channels Worldwide oversaw all Disney television networks until the organization of the Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International segment on March 14, 2018, when the company was split into two. The U.S. unit operated Disney Channels, Radio Disney as well as Disney Television Animation for animated programs and It's a Laugh Productions for Live-action programs. The networks' financial management is now overseen at Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. The international unit operated various children and family-oriented TV channels around the world, including variations of the U.S. channels plus Disney International HD, Dlife, and Hungama TV.

Disney Channel was originally established in the United States in 1983 as a premium 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), ABC Cable Networks Group (2001–2005) and Disney Channels Worldwide (2005–2020).


Walt Disney Entertainment, Inc.Edit

On November 10, 1981, Walt Disney Productions and Westinghouse Broadcasting announced that they had joined up to start a family-oriented cable television service.[2] In 1982, Disney hired Alan Wagner to develop a cable channel.[3]

20 months after the launch, the channel moved into the home satellite dish market thus scrambling its signal.

By July 15, 1982, Disney incorporated Walt Disney Entertainment, Inc., which was renamed by January 28, 1983 to The Disney Channel, Inc.[4]

The Disney Channel, Inc.Edit

The Disney Channel was launched in April 1983 as a premium channel with 16 hours of programming.[3][5]

The channel became profitable in January 1985.

The channel started moving to the basic cable level on September 1, 1990 with TCI Montgomery Cablevision.[5] In March 1995, the second Disney Channel began broadcasting in Taiwan[6] while the third is launched in October for the United Kingdom.[5]

Disney Channel, Inc.Edit

By September 29, 1997, the corporate name was shortened to Disney Channel, Inc.[4] Disney had hired Geraldine Laybourne away from the Nickelodeon channel in 1996. She founded a kids channel codename ABZ, which the media speculated to be aimed at preschoolers. Laybourne dismissed this report.[7] In December 1997, the Toon Disney channel was announced as a basic channel consisting of Disney animated programming.[5] As of April 1, 1998, most of the international versions are pay channels while the Taiwan and Malaysia versions are ad supported and the USA version is a basic channel.[8] The Toon Disney Channel was launched on April 18, 1998 on the Disney Channel's 15th anniversary.[9]

In 2000, the Playhouse Disney preschool channel was launched in the United Kingdom.[10] while in the US, in 1997, the Playhouse Disney block was launched on Disney Channel. In June 2001, Disney was looking into launch Playhouse Disney as a channel in the United States for 2002.[11]

ABC Cable Networks GroupEdit

Disney Channel, Inc. changed its name to ABC Cable Networks Group, Inc. by January 31, 2001.[4] In October 2003, ABC Family Worldwide was shifted from Disney COO Bob Iger's directly reporting unit to the ABC Cable Networks Group.[12] In early 2004, Disney Channel's original programming leaders took over ABC Family's original movies unit temporarily as two ABC Family executives left the channel.[13]

In January 2004, Fox Kids Europe, Fox Kids Latin America and ABC Cable Networks Group created the Jetix programming alliance that would rebrand Fox Kids as Jetix for all blocks, channels and companies.[14] ABC1 launched on the United Kingdom's digital terrestrial television platform on September 27, 2004.[15]

Disney Channels WorldwideEdit

Disney Channels Worldwide's headquarters in Burbank as it appeared during the 2000s.

In November 2005, Barry Blumberg resigned as president of Walt Disney Television Animation to allow the planned transfer of TV animation to Disney Channels Worldwide.[16]

In 2006, Disney Television India acquired Hungama TV from UTV Software Communications Limited[17] Disney Cinemagic began broadcasting in the UK in March 2006[18] to of several Cinemagic channels, including timeshift and HD versions across Western Europe.[19] ABC1 ceased broadcasting on all UK TV platforms at noon on September 26, 2007.[20]

In Spain, Walt Disney Company Iberia purchased 20% of Management Company Television Net TV SA (or NET TV) on February 2008.[21] In late May 2008, the company announced the move of Disney Channel to the digital over-the air space, replacing NET TV's Fly Music on July 1, 2008.[22]

The company's Japanese unit, Walt Disney Television International Japan, started procuring its own animated series in March 2008, with the first two series to debut at Tokyo International Anime Fair 2008. The company produced Stitch! with Madhouse Company, while Fireball was produced with Jinni's Animation Studios.[23]

After two Disney Channel stars had various scandals, the company started a set of classes for their young stars in 2009 to adapt to the pressure of fame. Optional monthly life-skill classes were added in 2014.[24]

Disney XD (DXD) was launched in September 2009, taking over the channel space of Toon Disney in the US,[25] while Jetix switched over to DXD (or for some Disney Channel) starting with France on April 1.[26] In April, the Walt Disney Company, Ltd. Japan and Disney Channels Worldwide started Broadcast Satellite Disney Co., Ltd. to broadcast a women and family targeted channel called Dlife with licensed content, received in October 2010 and debuted on March 17, 2012.[27]

Jetix Play closed down on August 1, 2010 in most countries,[28] on September 1, 2010 in Turkey, and in Romania on March 12, 2011.[citation needed] In these countries, the channel was replaced with Playhouse Disney.[28]

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. were also renamed to "Disney Junior" in 2011.[29][30][31]

In October 2011, Disney reached a joint venture agreement (49%/51%) with UTH Russia, in which UTH will turn its broadcasting network Seven TV into a Disney Channel starting in early 2012.[32] On March 28, 2013, Cinemagic was replaced with Sky Movies Disney in the UK market under license to BSkyB.[33]

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.[34] Disney formed an in-house ad sales company called Disney Media + for the channel, given that two competitors control most ad sales companies.[35][36]

Disney India Media Networks shut down Bindass Play, a Hindi music channel, and replaced it with Disney International HD on October 29, 2017. This general entertainment channel is in English and HD, targeted to ages 14 to 25 while only tapping Disney live action shows.[37][38]

Company splitEdit

With Disney's March 14, 2018 reorganization, all international channels including Disney Channel have been transferred to Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, a new segment, while the US unit is still under Disney–ABC Television Group.[39] On January 9, 2019, Disney India Media Networks shut down Disney XD India and replaced it with Marvel HQ, a channel featuring shows and movies from Marvel Entertainment as well as some acquired programming.[40]

Shortly after the November 2019 launch of Disney+ in New Zealand, Disney shut down its linear channels there. In June 2020, Disney Channels Worldwide announced that all three of the networks owned by Disney Channels Worldwide in the United Kingdom would be shut down on October 1, with content thereafter to be available via the Disney+ streaming service, as the extension of a carriage deal with Sky and Virgin Media could not be reached.[41]

Disney Branded TelevisionEdit

Following a company restructuring in November 2020, the Disney channels became part of Disney Branded Television, a newly created unit of Disney General Entertainment Content. Headed by the former Disney Channels Worldwide president, Gary Marsh, the new unit oversees development and production of content made for kids, tweens, teens and families for Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and Disney+. Disney Branded TV also oversees all Disney+ unscripted series and specials.[1] In December 2020, Disney announced that Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country would cease operations in early 2021.[42] Following the reorganization, the management of Disney XD was moved to Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution.[43]

On May 25, 2021, Disney announced that they would close 100 TV channels internationally by the end of 2021 following the 30 closures that occurred in 2020; this not only included Disney-branded channels but also Fox Networks Group channels inherited from Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019.[44]


The international on-air channel brands look are consistent with the Disney brand. Individual channel managers are allowed to develop schedules and marketing programs to allow children's preferences in the market. Additionally, local programming that meets Disney's standards, combined with difficulties, is acquired. If a program is successful in a market, its format may be developed for other Disney Channels' market viewing tastes.[8]


Disney Channel different channels around the world, each represented by one colour.

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.[45] 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.[46] Until it was defunct in the end of 2021.


In April 2009, the Walt Disney Company Ltd. Japan and Disney Channels Worldwide started Broadcast Satellite Disney Co., Ltd. to broadcast a women and family targeted channel, Dlife [ja], with licensed received in October 2010 and debuted on March 17, 2012.[27] In December 2013, Dlife launched a children's programming block called Disney Time.[47] The channel was shut down on March 31, 2020.


Disney Channel does not have a localized version for China. However, many of its live-action and animated series are syndicated on regional channels through ABC owned Dragon Club since 1994. It also has a Chinese website.[48]


Previously, Disney programming was available through programming blocks starting as early as 1994 with Doordarshan then moving to Zee TV until the early 2000s. 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.[49]

In December 2004, Walt Disney Television International India launched a Toon Disney channel with three language feeds (English, Tamil and Telugu)[50] at the same time as the Disney Channel with Star TV network distributing the channels.[51] 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.[49]


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 programming library, and launched Disney Channel in Canada on September 1, 2015—the first time that a Disney Channel-branded network has operated in Canada.[52]

Prior to this agreement, rights to Disney Channel programming had been held by Family Channel, a network 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 subscription), 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;[citation needed] a Canadian version of ABC Family (now Freeform) launched in March 2012, called ABC Spark[53] 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 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 pay-TV 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).[52]

List of Disney ChannelsEdit

Current channelsEdit

Market Type Formerly Launch date Other nations Operator
United States Channel HD (East)[54] N/A April 18, 1983 None Disney Branded Television US[55]
France Channel March 1997[8] Belgium (satellite), Africa, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Haiti, Overseas France Disney Co. France[56]
Channel +1 2002
Channel HD 2011
Middle East and North Africa Channel April 2, 1997 (English)[8]
April 1, 1998 (Arabic)[57]
Arab World, Greece, Cyprus Disney Co. Ltd.[58]
Channel HD 2015
Germany Channel October 16, 1999[8] Luxembourg, Austria Disney Co. (Germany)[59]
Channel HD 2011 Austria
Free-to-air channel Das Vierte January 17, 2014[36] None
Israel Channel Jetix September 9, 2009 The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia
Latin America[8] Channel (Mexico)[60] N/A July 27, 2000 The Walt Disney Company Latin America[61]
Channel (Central feed)[62]
Channel (South feed)[63]
Channel (Brazil)[64]
Channel HD[65] September 2012
Japan Channel November 18, 2003 The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd.[66]
Scandinavia Channel[67] February 28, 2003 Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania[68] Disney Co. Ltd.[69]
Channel (Norway)[70] None
Channel HD May 2012
Poland Channel December 1, 2006 Disney Co. Ltd.[71]
Channel HD[72] April 10, 2015
Turkey Channel April 29, 2007 Disney Co. Ltd.[73]
Russia pay-TV channel Jetix August 10, 2010 CIS Disney Co. Ltd.[74]
free-to-air network Seven TV December 31, 2011 None JV with UTH Russia[32]
Greece Channel Jetix November 7, 2009 Disney[75]
Albania June 1, 2012 Kosovo Digitalb[76]
Croatia September 2012 Bosnia and Herzegovina Disney Co. Ltd.[77]
Serbia April 2012 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro[78]
Bulgaria CEE Jetix September 19, 2009 [79]
Romania Bulgaria[80] Disney Co. Ltd.
Netherlands N/A October 3, 2009 Previously Belgium (Flanders), now split Disney Channels (Benelux) B.V.[81]
Czech Republic Jetix September 19, 2009 Slovakia Disney[82]
Hungary None The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia
Slovakia Disney Co. Ltd.[83]
Slovenia September 2012 Disney Co. Ltd.[84]
Portugal N/A November 28, 2001 The Walt Disney Company Iberia S.L.[85]
Channel HD May 4, 2021
India Channel December 17, 2004[86] Disney India Media Networks
South Africa 2006 Disney Co. Ltd. Africa[87]
Belgium (Flanders) Channel HD Disney Channel (Netherlands) 2012 Disney Channels (Benelux) B.V.
Belgium (French) Disney Channel (France) June 29, 2015 Luxembourg
Canada (English) Channel Teletoon Retro September 1, 2015 None Corus Entertainment[52][88]
Canada (French) Télétoon Rétro
Spain Pay television None April 17, 1998 Andorra, Equatorial Guinea Management Company Television Net TV SA[89]
Free-to-air channel Fly TV July 1, 2008[8]
Channel +1[90] None November 16, 2001
Channel HD None 2012[90]

† 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.[89][90]

Defunct channelsEdit

Market Type Formerly Active date Feeds/other countries Operator Fate
Ukraine Channel None August 10, 2010 - January 1, 2013 None Disney-ABC Television Group Select programming moved to PLUSPLUS and NLO TV following the channel’s closure.
Australia December 24, 2003[8][91]November 30, 2019 (New Zealand)

June 8, 1996[8][91]April 30, 2020 (Australia)

New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tuvalu The Walt Disney Company Australia Selected programming moved to Disney+ following the channel's closure.
Italy October 3, 1998[8][91]May 1, 2020 San Marino, Vatican City The Walt Disney Company Italy
Channel +1 December 24, 2004[8][91]May 1, 2020
Disney in English December 20, 2008[8][91]October 1, 2019
Channel +2 October 1, 2011[8][91]April 9, 2018
Channel Mobile October 1, 2011[8][91]May 1, 2020
HD Channel February 1, 2012[8][91]May 1, 2020
Singapore Channel January 4, 2000June 1, 2020 None The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Contract renewal failure with service providers in the country.[92] It was replaced with Disney+ on February 23, 2021.
UK and Ireland October 1, 1995[8]- October 1, 2020 Disney Co. Ltd. (UK/Europe)[93] Sky and Virgin Media declined to sign a new deal to keep the Disney-branded networks running after the successful launch of Disney+ in the country. Selected programming moved to the service following the channel's closure.
Channel +1[94] September 2000 - October 1, 2020
Channel HD[95] 2011- October 1, 2020
Malaysia Channel October 12, 1996[8] -January 1, 2021[96] Brunei The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia Selected programming moved to Disney+ Hotstar on June 1, 2021.[96][97]
Asia Channel September 1, 1996October 1, 2021 Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia It will be replaced by Disney+ (Disney+ Hotstar for Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam).
Korea Channel HD July 1, 2011 - October 1, 2021[98] None Television Media Korea (SK Telecom 51% and Disney Channels International 49% venture),[99] The Walt Disney Company (Korea) LLC
Taiwan Channel March 1995 - January 1, 2022 The Walt Disney Company (Taiwan) Ltd.

Channel types per marketEdit

Market Disney Channel Disney Junior Disney XD Cinemagic
Disney Movies
United States April 18, 1983[5]
West, East HD, West HD[100]
February 14, 2011
March 23, 2012[101]
February 13, 2009[25] None Radio Disney (1996–2021)
Radio Disney Country (2015–2021)[102]
United Kingdom October 1995[8]
September 30, 2020
+1, HD
May 2011
September 30, 2020
+1, HD
August 31, 2009
September 30, 2020
+1, HD
(as Disney Cinemagic)
December 31, 2020
(as Sky Movies Disney)
ABC1 (2004–2007)[15][20]
France March 1997[8]
+1, HD
April 1, 2009May 1, 2020
(as Disney Cinemagic)
May 8, 2015[103]
April 7, 2020
(as Disney Cinema)
Disney Nature TV (2012–)
Belgium (French) 2012 None None None None
Portugal November 28, 2001 November 1, 2012 October 2008–2012
Middle East and North Africa April 2, 1997[8]
April 1, 2011
December 31, 2020
(as OSN Movies Disney HD)
Spain April 17, 1998[8] a
+1, HD[90]
June 11, 2011 September 18, 2009
April 1, 2020
January 1, 2015
Intereconomía TV (2005) †[90]
Germany October 16, 1999 b
July 14, 2011 October 18, 2009
April 1, 2020
2009, HD None
Bulgaria September 19, 2009 June 1, 2011 None None
Czechia June 1, 2011
July 1, 2015
July 1, 2015
December 5, 2017
Romania 2011-2012 (block), 2012 (channel)
Russia August 10, 2010 c 2013–2020 (block) Radio Disney[104]
Slovakia September 19, 2009 None None
Slovenia 2010
Italy October 3, 1998
May 1, 2020
+1, +2, HD, Mobile, Disney in English
May 14, 2011
May 1, 2020
September 28, 2009
October 1, 2019
+1, +2, HD
Netherlands 2009 2011–2019 January 1, 2010
Greece November 7, 2009 April 1, 2011 2009
Scandinavia February 28, 2003
September 10, 2011 September 12, 2009
Serbia 2012 None October 2009
Poland December 2, 2006


September 1, 2010 (as Playhouse Disney), June 1, 2011 (now as Disney Junior) September 2009
Turkey April 29, 2007 d September 1, 2010 (as Playhouse Disney), June 1, 2011 (now as Disney Junior) October 2009
Australia June 8, 1996[8][91] May 29, 2011[105] April 10, 2014[106]
January 6, 2019[107]
April 10, 2014
November 7, 2019

(as Foxtel Movies Disney)[106]

Taiwan March 1995[8]January 1, 2022 2012–December 31, 2021

[108] (block)

None None
Southeast Asia Singapore January 4, 2000
May 31, 2020
July 11, 2011
May 31, 2020
March 16, 2013
May 31, 2020
Indonesia September 1, 1996
October 1, 2021
July 11, 2011
October 1, 2021
October 19, 2013
December 31, 2020
Malaysia October 1996[8]
December 31, 2020[96]
July 11, 2011
December 31, 2020
September 15, 2012
December 31, 2020
Philippines 1998[8]
October 1, 2021
July 11, 2011[109][110]
October 1, 2021
May 31, 2014
December 31, 2020
Vietnam May 2005
October 1, 2021
July 11, 2011
October 1, 2021
India December 17, 2004[86] October 15, 2012[111] November 14, 2009[112]
January 9, 2019[113]
Japan November 2003 Fall 2012[114] August 2009[115] Dlife (2012–2020)
Canada DHX Media[116] None May 6, 2011[117]
September 18, 2015
(both English and French)
June 1, 2011[118]
October 9, 2015[52]
Radio Disney[104]
Corus September 1, 2015
(both English and French)
December 1, 2015
(English channel)
November 30, 2015
(French block)[119]
December 1, 2015
(English channel)
June 27, 2016
–Summer 2019
(French block)
ABC Spark[52][88]
Latin America 2000[8] April 1, 2011[121]-Late-2022 July 3, 2009[122]-March 31, 2022 Radio Disney[104]
South Africa September 25, 2006[87] June 1, 2011[123] May 11, 2011[87] Note
South Korea July 1, 2011
July 11, 2011[99]
  • ^a Initially as a paid channel; went free-to-air on July 1, 2008
  • ^b Initially as a paid channel; went free-to-air on January 17, 2014
  • ^c Initially as a paid channel; went free-to-air on December 31, 2011, in a joint venture with UTH Russia
  • ^d Initially as a paid channel; went free-to-air in January 2012


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