Disney Germany has announced it is set to launch a new 24-hour, free-to-air German-language Disney Channel in January 2014.
The ad-supported channel will mark the first time German kids and families will have free access to the popular Disney library of animated and live-action TV shows and movies.
Lars Wagner, GM of Disney Channels Germany, will head up the channel, which also aims to invest in third-party acquisitions and local production.
The new channel will become a direct competitor with Disney’s 50/50 joint-venture Super RTL, but it is not yet known if it will sell its stake in Super RTL or operate both channels together.
Disney will continue to run its three pay-TV channels, Disney Cinemagic, Disney Junior and Disney XD, in the region.
The new channel will air on the same frequency as free-TV broadcaster Das Vierte, which Disney bought in December 2012. Upon launch, the Das Vierte name will be dropped.