Disney inks deal with Russia’s Channel One

MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Company’s international TV licensing arm, Disney-ABC International Television, has concluded a major, multi-year partnership with Russian state broadcaster Channel One. This agreement covers the licensing of features, live action series, animated series and made-for-TV movies, and also the launch of monthly family film timeslot, The Wonderful World of Disney.


This follows strong growth of Disney’s Russian TV business in general, where its total distribution revenues for the market have increased by more than 400% in the last three years. At the cinema, Disney has also had a hugely successful year – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End’was the number one foreign release of all time in Russia and Ratatouille was the most successful non-sequel feature animation. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Disney Consumer Products and the Walt Disney Internet Group have also seen growth in their Russian business over the past year.


The Walt Disney Company CIS, General Manager, Marina Jigalova-Ozkan said, ”It is an important milestone in the history of Russian television and will contribute to the further strengthening of Disney brand in Russia”.


Toumazis commented, ”In this key market, we’re pleased to close this significant step in the growth of our business, and the presence of Disney content on Russian television. This agreement builds upon our long-standing successful relationship with Channel One, covering some of the most creative and successful content on television.”


Channel One, General Manager, Konstantin Ernst said, ”This is a further step of working closer with The Walt Disney Company that will allow Channel One to present to a broader Russian audience all the latest Disney animated and live action movies that have recently attracted the largest amount of viewers all around the world. Our partnership will not be limited to movies acquisitions but will be broadened towards the joint production of movies and shows here in Russia


With this agreement, viewers across Russia will be able to enjoy a wide range of hit first-run features from Walt Disney Pictures including Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and Wild Hogs, Disney/Pixar titles such as Finding Nemo. Also included are much-loved Disney animated classics such as The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmations and Peter Pan,’ to be shown on free TV in Russia for the first time.


Many of these blockbuster titles will premiere on Russian TV within Channel One’s new family film timeslot The Wonderful World of Disney, which will run monthly, for 10 months a year.


Following the success of ABC Studios network series such as Lost in Russia, the hit series Dirty Sexy Money, starring Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland, has been picked up by the broadcaster