Jetix getting closer to Disney

Kids channel operator Jetix and its largest shareholder, Disney, are to coproduce a pair of live-action shows. The two have previously coproduced animated series Yin Yang Yo and will now join forces for two shows that will deliver in 2009. Jetix would not reveal details of the shows but said they will have the same development and production teams as on Disney’s recent live-action hits, which include High School Musical and Hannah Montana.

Jetix is also talking to Disney about a channel distribution deal whereby Disney-ABC International Distribution would handle carriage talks for the Jetix channel. Jetix CEO Paul Taylor told TBIVision that if a deal goes ahead, it will be agreed soon.

"We have an arm’s length relationship with Disney in a variety of areas – Disney Consumer Products represents us on Power Rangers, Disney-ABC handles our programme distribution business and we are happy with those contracts," Taylor said. "The logical next step to secure the business is to move the channel distribution business over to them."

Disney recently integrated channel distribution teams from the Disney Channels, ESPN and Disney-ABC International Television.

Jetix’s revenues for the six months to end-March were down €16.5 million to €71.2 million ($138.1 million). The revenue slide was caused by new carriage deals with BSkyB in the UK and CanalSat in France, which were both renewed on reduced terms and from the decision not to produce a third season of A.T.O.M. Alpha teens On Machines, which meant the end of a master toy deal with Hasbro.

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