Disney, Star ink deal; to launch two channels 17 December

MUMBAI: The Little Big Mouse is finally ready to make its entry into Indian television space. And expectedly, it is on the biggest network platform that Disney will be launching two of its channels.

Walt Disney Television International Asia Pacific (WDTVI-AP) announced today that it has signed a multi-year deal with the Star Group to distribute The Disney Channel and Toon Disney Channel in India. The announcement was made jointly by Doug Miller, executive vice president WDTVI-AP and Walt Disney International and Star group CEO Michelle Guthrie. Both channels will be launched on Friday, 17 December 2004.

"The Disney brand is incredibly strong in India and has a natural resonance with Indian kids and families. This strong brand affinity makes India a natural market for us to launch a Disney Channel and also introduce the region's first ever Toon Disney Channel," said Miller. "We believe that Star India, with their unrivalled experience and successful track record in delivering compelling content make them the ideal partner to realize this potential."

Michelle Guthrie commented, "Disney is the undoubted leader in providing unique entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together and we believe that adding Disney Channel and Toon Disney to the Star bouquet of channels will make us the natural home for kids and family viewing in India. The strength of the Disney brand will also give us incredible strength in marketing the channels and attracting more viewers to our services."

"With a 30 million cable & satellite TV audience under the age of 14 in urban India alone, India is one of the world's largest kids audiences and the launch of Disney Channel and Toon Disney will not only have a major impact on the way the Disney brand is enjoyed in India but also in the development of the Indian pay television business," said Rajat Jain, managing director, Walt Disney Television International (India) and The Walt Disney Company (India) Pvt Ltd.

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