Disney launching XD in the UK

Disney will replace Jetix with its boy-skewed Disney XD brand in the UK this August. The company has been gradually phasing out Jetix, having taken full control of the channel late last year, and introducing XD in its place.

“It’s quite different to Jetix, we think the channel will revolutionise kids viewing for boys,” Boel Ferguson, general manager for Disney Channels UK & Ireland told TBIvision. “There are no kids channels out there that really target this group, it’s the first boy-focused, girl inclusive channel.”

Disney XD will target an older demo than Jetix, targeting 6 to 14 year olds with a mix of live-action and animated fare. Ferguson said that the big ticket shows from the US, including Aaron Stone and skateboarding series Zeke and Luther, will be complemented by locally acquired programming and ultimately locally commissioned content.

In the US Disney-backed ESPN and XD collaborated to produce extreme sports series Next X and X Games on Disney XD and Disney will look at local versions of these.

In terms of personnel changes, Ferguson said more will become clear as the Jetix-XD integration process comes to an end. Former Jetix boss Paul Taylor stepped down in February having run the channel since 2004.

Disney has now announced Jetix roll outs in the US, Japan, France, Germany, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe.

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