On October 3, Disney Channel will launch exclusively on UPC Nederland on both the analogue and digital basic tier, the two companies announced today.
The addition of Disney to basic analogue is an interesting move as it is clearly aimed at beefing up the basic offer of the cabler in times when they are slowly losing subscribers to terrestrial competition and to a lesser extent DTH or IPTV.
Analogue television is still “the mother of our television service”, said UPC Nederland CEO Diederik Karsten, with the majority of the UPC homes still watching analogue only.
Programming from the Disney channel will also be part of the VOD offer as well as part of the basic subscription, but Ivo Lochtamn, VP video content, told Broadband TV News, the operator will experiment with “pre-VOD” , offering programmes on an exclusive transactional basis. Disney VOD will launch early next year.
Programming on the 24-hour Disney Channel will include hit series including Hanna Montana, Jonas and The Wizards of Waverly Place. In the morning, there will also be a branded Playhouse Disney block aimed at pre-school children.
Casper Björner, general manager van Disney Channel Nederland, refused to answer any questions about the future of Jetix in The Netherlands, which is carried as a daytime-only service on all platforms. A change to Disney XD might be a possibility as is happening in other markets, but as Björner said “we look at the local market situation”. He emphasised that the Disney Channel will always be the lead brand and “home” to all Disney programming.
Initially, Disney Channel will be commercial free. The two parties also refused to discuss any financial details of the carriage contract and the length of the exclusivity clause.