News in Brief

Disney taps the Philippines to continue Asian expansion
January 1, 2006

Disney taps the Philippines to continue Asian expansion

Hoping to capture some of the Philippines preschool demo estimated at 7.9 million children, Walt Disney Television International has launched Playhouse Disney as the first 24-hour preschool channel into the territory. The channel is distributed by Asian Cable Communications, which already has the Disney Channel in its roster. Programming will be culled from Disney’s library, including titles The Book of Pooh, Bear in the Big Blue House, and JoJo’s Circus. The launch, which follows on the heels of recent Playhouse Disney debuts in Australia and New Zealand, marks the 11th Playhouse channel in the Asia Pacific region.

Nelvana and Televisa ink output deal

In a deal that will guarantee free-TV placement for several of its top properties south of the border, Canadian production house Nelvana has signed a three-year, six-series output deal with Mexican broadcaster Televisa. Under the terms of the agreement, Televisa will have the first option to acquire broadcast, merchandising and home entertainment rights to Nelvana’s new branded productions. The first properties Televisa has earmarked for the region are Di-Gata Defenders and Jane and the Dragon.

IDT Imagines up a new Aussie distributor

Yet another company is sitting under the IDT Entertainment banner, completing the conglom’s race to expand its home entertainment opps into virtually all English-speaking territories. The Newark, New Jersey-based company picked up Imagine Entertainment, an independent Australian distributor of theatrical, video and DVD titles last December. The pair has worked together in the past – Imagine Entertainment’s Kid Tuff brand already possessed the rights to several of IDT’s kids properties. The company will now have Aussie rights to library titles from Anchor Bay (another IDT subsidiary), such as Harry Connick Jr.’s Happy Elf.

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