April 18, 1983
Disney Channel debuts in the U.S. as a premium/pay service,
airing 16 hours a day daily.
Disney Channel becomes available on cable systems in all 50 U.S. states.
First made-for-Disney Channel TV movie, Tiger Town, airs.
Disney Channel ends 1983 with 611,000 subscribers.
The world television premiere of Alice in Wonderland marks the first time a classic Disney animated film has aired in its entirety on TV.
Disney Channel wins its first CableACE award for Tiger Town.
Disney Channel becomes profitable 20 months after its debut, with 1.75 million subscribers.
Disney Channel begins programming 24 hours a day.
Disney Channel begins the year with 3.175 million subscribers.
Disney Channel scrambles its signal, thus entering the home satellite dish market.
Disney Channel launches its Going Home concert series with Ashford & Simpson: Going Home.
An all-new and original Mickey Mouse Club debuts.
Disney Channel announces a new interstitial series, The Disney Channel Salutes The American Teacher, hosted by First Lady Barbara Bush.
Disney Channel is now available in over five million households nationwide.
Disney Channel wins its first Daytime Emmy Awards for the movies Looking for Miracles, Calgary ’88: 16 Days of Glory and the special A Conversation with . . . George Burns.
Disney Channel wins its first Peabody Award for Shelley Duvall’s Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme.
September 1, 1990
TCI Montgomery Cablevision becomes the first cable operator to carry Disney Channel as a basic cable service.
Disney Channel earns its first Primetime Emmy for Shelley Duvall’s Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme.
Disney Channel airs the first annual The Walt Disney Company Presents the American Teacher Awards.
Disney Channel is available in 5.6 million
World television premiere of The Little Mermaid.
Disney Channel is available in 6.2 million households
Disney Channel launches its original series Adventures in Wonderland.
Disney Channel airs its first annual Disney’s Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra.
Subscribers now number seven million.
Disney Channel kicks off a 14-city nationwide bus tour in celebration of its tenth anniversary.
Disney Channel is available in 12.6 million households, an increase of 4.87 million subscribers, the largest single-year growth in the channel’s history to date.
Disney Channel debuts in Taiwan, its first international presence.
World television premiere of the documentary, Anne Frank Remembered. It goes on to win the Oscar¨ for Best Documentary.
Debut of Disney Channel-United Kingdom.
Disney Channel is now available in 16.1 million households.
Disney Channel-Australia debuts, followed by Malaysia in October.
Disney Channel moves to an all-movie prime-time schedule with family-oriented films scheduled seven nights a week. Schedule kicks off with the premiere of The Lion King.
Disney Channel is now available in 25 million homes.
Disney Channel-France premieres, followed by Middle East in April.
Disney Channel debuts a new logo and on-air look to viewers, along with the world television debut of Pocahontas.
Disney Channel announces a multiyear affiliation agreement with TCI Communications that will permit TCI to carry Disney Channel on various product tiers on its cable television systems.
Nine-city ‘Disney Channel PremEARS in the Park,’ a four-night mini-movie festival promotional tie-in with local cable services to promote Disney’s move to basic cable, kicks off in Kansas City.
Debuts of two original animal adventure series, Going Wild with Jeff Corwin and Omba Mokomba, make up the new animal block during Sunday night prime time.
Debut of Sunday overnight block, Vault Disney, featuring the best from Disney’s vast library.
Debut of Bear in the Big Blue House, an original series for little kids, named by TV Guide as one of the top 10 new shows for kids.
Announcement of Toon Disney, a new basic cable channel comprised of classic Disney animation.
Disney Channel grows to 35 million subscribers.
Disney Channel-Spain is scheduled to come on-line.
April 18, 1998
On Disney Channel’s 15th anniversary, the company will launch Toon Disney.
In this report:
- Programming: Back to basics
- Disney Channel time line
- Marketing: Not your parents’ Disney
- Q&A with Anne Sweeney
- Drawing up Toon Disney
- International: Vive le Mickey