Basic cable has become the wide-reaching distribution method for Disney Channel and Toon Disney, thanks to an agreement between the channels and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) that was signed in November. Prior to the deal, Disney Channel and Toon Disney were optional, paid premium channels for many of the 8.5 million homes that will now receive them as part of their basic cable service.
On the international front, Disney Channel has signed a five-year deal with the Jim Henson Company to broadcast Bear in the Big Blue House on its networks in France, Spain, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Australia, Taiwan and the Middle East. Henson maintains rights to dubs in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin, which are now being shopped to terrestrial broadcasters in the territories covered by the deal with Disney.
And in Mexico, Disney movies, TV series and children’s programming will be airing on TV Azteca, thanks to a multiyear, exclusive program distribution agreement between the Mexican broadcaster and Buena Vista International Television.