Disney Channel will make its debut in the Canadian television market on September 1, thanks to a wide-ranging licensing deal that has just closed between Toronto’s Corus Entertainment and Disney ABC Television Group in LA.
In addition to getting clearance for the channel launch, Corus has secured the English- and French-language rights to Disney Channel content in Canada. The broadcaster also locked up streaming and ad-supported VOD rights for certain titles in Disney’s programming portfolio.
This new long-term partnership has a direct and obvious impact on Canada’s DHX Media, which announced plans of its own last night to rebrand its Disney Junior and Disney XD specialty channels as Family Junior (English)/Famille Junior (French) and Family XTRM by November 30.
DHX will continue to air Disney programming until the start of next year. The loss of Disney’s live-action hits might be a blow for DHX, but the company has plans to build a new and original lineup for 2016. It has commissioned a fourth season of The Next Step from Temple Street Productions, for example, and has season four of its own Slugterra series in the pipeline as well. These just-announced renewals will join season two of the Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage), Justin Time‘s third season and acquisitions including The Music Room and Fangbone!
Corus’s Canadian Disney Channel, meanwhile, will launch with a schedule featuring shows such as K.C. Undercover, Girl Meets World, Austin & Ally and Liv and Maddie.
The net joins a significant roster of kids and teen channels at Corus, including YTV, Teletoon and ABC Spark. The company also has a long-standing deal to broadcast Nickelodeon content on digital and linear platforms in Canada exclusively.