Television

Sky to launch Playhouse Disney in New Zealand in December

MUMBAI: Sky and Walt Disney Television will launch the Playhouse Disney Channel in December. Playhouse Disney is a dedicated 24-hour learning-focused channel for preschoolers.

Playhouse Disney Channel will officially launch on Sky channel 41 on Saturday 24 December at noon.

It is designed to invite children aged 2-5, their parents and caregivers into a world of discovery, imagination and creative play through age-appropriate learning-based programming.

The channel offers an unparalleled line-up of award-winning, preschool programmes that reflect Disney-quality storytelling, and features popular programmes including the original animated series JoJo’s Circus and Higglytown Heroes, and the exclusive New Zealand TV Premiere of Disney’s Little Einsteins. Playhouse Disney favourites The Book of Pooh, Bear in the Big Blue House and The Wiggles will also screen daily.

Walt Disney Television International (Australia/New Zealand) managing director Michael Cairns said, "For parents with preschoolers it’s important their children grow up happy and well rounded, and we’re thrilled to deliver to New Zealand a dedicated channel where learning and fun, participation and imagination connect them and their children in a stimulating and positive way."

Sky chief executive officer John Fellet said, "Today's announcement underscores Sky's commitment to providing the widest range of quality viewing choice, not just for adults but for children too. Disney Channel’s Playhouse Disney block has proven immensely popular with the younger Sky viewers, so we are delighted to now be able to provide a dedicated channel suitable for children aged 2-5."

Playhouse Disney Channel focuses on inspiring imagination and learning with programmes incorporating animation, puppetry, live-action and computer graphic imaging in a safe, entertaining TV environment.

Importantly, programming and content is informed by the “Whole Child Curriculum” developed by early childhood specialist Dr Renee Cherow-O’Leary. The curriculum is based on the theory of Multiple Intelligences and aspires to stimulate thinking skills, develop motor skills, impart early academic learning, instil moral and social lessons and encourage creativity and artistic expression.

Playhouse Disney Channel will launch with the exclusive New Zealand TV premiere of the engaging new series Disney’s Little Einsteins. From The Baby Einstein Company and Playhouse Disney, this series takes young viewers on captivating global adventures that introduce them to nature, world cultures, and enjoyment of the arts. The series blends spectacular live-action images of nature, art and landmarks with 2D character animation. Acclaimed two-time Emmy nominee Eric Weiner (JoJo's Circus, Dora the Explorer) is executive producer of Little Einsteins.

Playhouse Disney Channel is supported by a dedicated preschool website (playhousedisney.com.au) which encourages learning through an interactive mix of fun activities, music, creative storytelling, games and downloads. The Playhouse Disney website on disneychannel.co.nz already receives more than 50, 000 unique visitors each month.

The Playhouse Disney brand first launched on Disney Channel Australia/New Zealand as a learning-based programming block. The upcoming Playhouse Disney Channel launch in New Zealand will signal the eleventh market in the Asia-Pacific region to launch the preschool channel. Playhouse Disney Channel will launch in Australia on FoxTel Digital in December. Playhouse Disney Channels are also available in the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

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