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The Disney Channel is a US-American television channel specially developed for children, of which there are several offshoots worldwide. The channel belongs to the Disney-ABC Television Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company. On April 18, 1983, the station went on air for the first time.

Disney Channel in the USA

As early as spring 1977, the first thought was given to a station of its own, which would be equipped with the programmes and films of Walt Disney Productions. However, since the focus was on the Epcot amusement park of the Walt Disney World Resort, the then Disney boss Card Walker rejected the idea.

The second attempt was started in 1982, a joint venture with Group W was planned. However, this did not happen, as the cooperation was terminated in September 1982 when there were disagreements regarding the creative management and financial obligations, with Group W having to pay 50% of the startup costs. This meant that the station was again led by Walt Disney Productions and the first station manager, Alan Wagner. At the beginning of 1983 the channel was announced.

The Disney Channel was launched on 18 April 1983 at 7:00 a.m. with the first programme produced by Disney Channel, Good Morning, Mickey!

By 1989, five million people had already subscribed to the channel. In 1991 it was suggested to the channel that it be offered in eight cable networks in addition to satellite transmission. In 1995, 15 million people were able to receive The Disney Channel.

In 1997, The Disney Channel started with a new design and changed its name to Disney Channel, which was not replaced by The Disney Channel. In some previews until September 2002, however, the channel was only called Disney. In 2001, the channel had 70 million subscribers via satellite and cable.

Since 23 May 2014, the Disney Channel has also been broadcasting in the USA with the logo, which has been used during the day by the German version since 17 January 2014. The design is largely consistent with the German design.

The German Disney Channel is an offshoot of the US Disney Channel. It started on 16 October 1999 on Pay-TV and after a short break on 17 January 2014 switched to Free TV, where it replaced Das Vierte and took over its distribution channels.
Disney Channel in the United Kingdom

Already in 1989 it was planned to launch the Disney Channel in the United Kingdom. When the first previews of the channel’s launch on British Sky Broadcasting were announced, the launch was postponed indefinitely for unknown reasons. Sky then filed an action for breach of contract, which was later rejected.

On October 1, 1995, the station first went on air as The Disney Channel and shared the airtime with Sky Movie Gold.

On 1 May 1999, the channel was the first European offshoot to introduce a new design, which was also used by the other offshoots from June 1999.

On March 15, 2003, the design of the US station was adopted.

In the spring of the same year, the station showed the last episodes of Hannah Montana and set a new viewer record. With 621,000 viewers to date, the last episode Ende gut, alles gut? is the most watched programme or episode of a programme by the UK offshoot.

On September 1, 2011, the logo was changed to the current version of Europa, an HD version was launched 15 days later (September 15, 2011).

On 1 June 2012, the previous design was replaced by the almost identical American version. In the meantime, this has also been replaced by the current version with the new logo.

Disney Channel in the Netherlands and Flanders

The Disney Channel did not start here until 3 October 2009 and is sometimes referred to as the Disney Channel Benelux, although the channel cannot be seen in Luxembourg and Wallonia. Like its competitor Nickelodeon, all programmes will be shown in Dutch before 8 p.m., after 8 p.m. the programmes will be shown in English with Dutch subtitles, regardless of whether the programme has been dubbed or not. In the meantime, the new logo will also be broadcast in the Netherlands and Flanders.

Disney Channel in Spain

The Disney Channel was launched on 17 April 1998 and was initially shown on Spanish pay-TV.

After Disney had taken over 20% of the Spanish cable network operator Net TV and the contract specified the possibility that one of two licenses could be used for its own channel, Disney took the initiative and launched the world’s first and, until the launch of the new German offshoot, unique Disney Channel, which can now be received on free TV. Fly Music, which was broadcast until 30 June 2008, was discontinued in favour of Disney Channel.

Jose Vila, then Managing Director, assured that the programme would remain the same and that only advertising would have to be shown so that the channel would have a source of income instead of subscribers.

The launch on Free TV took place on 1 July 2008 and was accompanied by a major advertising campaign with the slogan Disney Channel, finally for all.

On May 1, 2010, they started broadcasting in 16:9 format, the international design was adopted on June 20, 2011. In the meantime, this was replaced again, the current design is now also used here, with the new logo.

Disney Channel in Turkey

The Turkish offshoot of the Disney channel was launched on 29 April 2007 on Pay-TV and is based in Istanbul. In October 2011, Disney decided to offer the Disney Channel free of charge on free TV from 12 January 2012. Since then, the channel has been available unencrypted via the Türksat 4A satellite and via cable. The channel is financed through advertising. It is broadcast in the outdated picture format 4:3. The new logo has now also been adopted in Turkey.

Disney Channel Europe

Disney Channel Europe was the name given to the subsidiary in the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine.

On September 19, 2009, the station replaced Jetix, which had replaced Fox Kids on January 1, 2005. The Fox Kids station had been on air in individual countries since February 1999.

The programme was broadcast simultaneously in six languages (Romanian, English, Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian and Russian). One exception is advertising, which is not broadcast in English.

In the meantime there are country-specific versions with Disney Channel România, Disney Channel България, Disney Channel Česká & Slovenská, Disney Channel Magyarország and Disney Канал Россия With Disney Channel Украина there was also a country-specific version for the Ukraine until 1 January 2013. The current reception situation there is not known.

Disney Channel România and Disney Channel България show the same program, but in their own language, the same applies to Disney Channel Česká & Slovenská and Disney Channel Magyarország.

In the meantime, each offshoot has adopted the new logo, Disney Канал followed on August 1, 2014.

Disney Channel in Latin America

The Disney Channel was launched on 27 July 2000 and has also been available in HD since 3 December 2012. The channel is divided into five sections (called feeds):

North: Mexico (in Spanish and English)
Central: Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba and Dominican Republic (in Spanish and English)
Pacific: Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru (in Spanish and English)
South: Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay (in Spanish and English)
Brazil: Brazil (in Portuguese)

As well as HD version in two areas:

HD: Entire area (in Spanish and English)
HD Brazil: Brazil (in Portuguese)

Disney Channel Program

A large part of the programme broadcast is Disney’s own production. In addition to series (Disney Channel original series or DCOS), various television films are also produced, which are marketed and broadcast by the Disney Channel under the name “Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOM)”.

The motto of the Disney Channel is “Normal teenagers in abnormal situations”.