Corus to launch Disney Channel in Canada

Corus Quay
A new licensing deal between Corus and ABC/Disney forces a rebrand of three of DHX Media's recently acquired kids channels.

Disney Channel is headed to Canada for the first time after Corus Entertainment expanded its pact with the Disney/ABC Television Group to license all content for the popular U.S. channel.

That deal has implications for rival DHX Media, which will continue to air Disney Channel series until January 2016 as current and new Disney series on the popular channel in the meantime migrate to Corus.

Corus already markets ABC Spark, which is based on Disney’s ABC Family channel, in Canada.

Now the broadcaster will launch Disney Channel in Canada on Sept. 1, 2015 as it continues to target young Canadian audiences alongside the YTV and Teletoon channels.

The 24-hour Disney Channel is available in around 96 million U.S. homes and also airs in a host of foreign markets.

DHX Media, which like Corus targets the kids and family TV markets after last year buying Family Channel, Disney XD and the French and English Disney Junior channels from Bell Media for $170 million, now faces regroup in the wake of Corus’s new deal with ABC/Disney.

The broadcaster will rebrand its preschool channels that target kids 2 to 6 years-old in English and French as Family Junior and Famille Junior, respectively.

And DHX’s Disney XD channel, which targets kids 6 to 12, will be rebranded as Family XTRM.

The new channel brands will be rolled out by November 2015.

DHX will continue to broadcast Disney Channel content until January 2016, including series like Liv and Maddie, Good Luck Charlie, Mighty Med and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

Along with the channel rebrands, DHX also announced has commissioned a fourth season of Temple Street Production’s The Next Step, which currently airs on Family Channel. As well, a fourth season of the DHX Media-produced Slugterra was also ordered.

Corus Entertainment president and CEO Doug Murphy was not available for comment.

DHX Media executives were not available for comment at press time.