The proposed Walt Disney satellite television channel in the country will be customised to local needs with substantial local content thrown in, according to Doug Miller, senior vice-president and managing director (Asia Pacific), Walt Disney Television International.
“We don’t want to import the American channel to India. We want to take the best assets of Walt Disney including animation and movies and mix it with content which we will acquire locally,” Miller said.
“We will be much more aggressive on localisation of content in India than in other Asian countries,” he added.
At the moment, Disney Channel is available on pay TV in Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
Disney branded programs are broadcast on local free-to-air networks in 12 countries around the region, reaching over 300 million in Asia-Pacific. Miller added that the Walt Disney channel in India will telecast premier content targeted at kids and family viewing.
Currently, the channel is carrying out market research in India by talking to consumers and satellite television distributors.
“Ideally, our plans should be wrapped up this year and we should launch the channel in fiscal 2005 (October 2005-September 2006),” Miller said.
It is worth noting that the government has approved Walt Disney’s proposal to start a satellite television channel in the country with an investment of $10 million.
In keeping with the goal of providing kids-driven entertainment, Disney targets three distinct audiences: morning time block’s Playhouse Disney for preschoolers (children aged 2-5, their parents and caregivers), afternoon animated and live-action programs for “tweens” (children aged 6-12) and primetime animated movies or feature films for families.