Television

Disney and Optus to launch Disney Connection in Australia

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MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) and Optus have signed an agreement to launch an interactive broadband service Disney Connection on the Optus broadband portal.

The service will offer kids and families a broad range of media-rich Disney entertainment and learning activities. It will be available to Optus broadband customers in July 2006.

The agreement marks the Australian launch of the popular Disney-branded internet channel, which is available in eight other countries, including the US, Japan, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina.

"We're very pleased to work with Optus to make this high-quality broadband content available to Australian consumers," said Walt Disney Internet Group International executive vice president and managing director Mark Handler.

"Disney Connection provides unique, high-quality and differentiated online entertainment that kids and families can enjoy. We look forward to bringing more of our rich library of online interactive entertainment to this market," he added.

Disney Connection will offer Optus broadband customers a regularly-updated slate of interactive games and activities, as well as video, based on both classic and new Disney characters. Its Studio Showcase will provide video shorts from Disney, including Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney clips, cartoon shorts, music videos, and movie trailers.

"As Australians increasingly embrace broadband, we are pleased to launch an interactive and educational entertainment destination designed especially to meet the needs of children and families," said Optus Consumer group director products and delivery Chris Lane.

"This is a cornerstone deal in Optus' strategy of featuring the internet's leading online brands and entertainment providers. It is another step in Optus' vision of a digital future where PC and mobile phones become sources of everyday entertainment," he added.

Disney Connection content on the Optus broadband portal will be refreshed every other week. Kids and families will be able to personalise their site experience through the "My Disney" link by selecting their favourite theme – from Buzz Lightyear to Disney Princess – and choosing their preferred games and other content to appear on the Disney Connection home page.

A separate mobile section will highlight Disney-branded mobile content available on the Optus Zoo WAP portal.

In the Asia Pacific region, Disney.com has well-established, localized Internet sites in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Australia. WDIG launched its first broadband content service in Japan in 2003 with NTT FLET's broadband network, reaching more than 7.9 million subscribers. In June 2005, it launched its first broadband service in Taiwan with Chungwa Telecom's HiNet ADSL, the country's leading broadband provider, with more than 3.5 million subscribers.

WDIG has mobile content distribution in 13 markets in the Asia Pacific region, including Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, China, Thailand, the Philippines, India, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Macau. In this region, more than 695 million mobile consumers have access to Disney-branded mobile content.

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