London/Moscow, December 20, 2007 – In line with its commitment to the international expansion of its businesses and brands in emerging markets, 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 compelling growth in their Russian business over the past year.
Marina Jigalova-Ozkan, General Manager of The Walt Disney Company CIS, 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.”
Konstantin Ernst, General Manager of Channel One 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.
The Walt Disney Company CIS
The Walt Disney Company CIS – the subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company – was founded in April 2006. General Manager of The Walt Disney Company CIS is Marina Jigalova-Ozkan.
In Russia and CIS the company develops all main lines of business of the global company, which include:
1. Marketing and distribution of films;
2. Distribution of TV content;
3. Home Entertainment (production of DVD);
4. Licensing of Disney consumer products – clothes, toys, goods for children, stationery, food, cosmetics;
5. Production and distribution of games for PC and consoles;
6. Production and distribution of mobile and Internet content;
7. Licensing of publishing – books and magazines for children.
DISNEY-ABC INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION
Disney-ABC International Television is the international television distribution division of The Walt Disney Company, licensing over 30,000 hours of programming to over 1300 broadcasters across 240 territories worldwide. Disney-ABC International Television distributes a portfolio of motion pictures from Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films, network TV series, TV movies and miniseries, Disney-branded kids programming, ABC Daytime and ABC News programming as well as the Annual Academy Awards®. The company also services the distribution of the Jetix Europe portfolio internationally. Disney-ABC International Television has been expanding its business portfolio to distribute U.S. – produced reality programs and exploits reality and scripted formats for local production; including local editions of ‘Extreme Makeover’ in the UK, India, Belgium, Scandinavia, Hungary and Colombia; ‘The Amazing Race’ in Central Europe, Asia, and Brazil; local versions of ‘Home Improvement’ and ‘Hope & Faith’ in Russia and Turkey respectively; and local versions of Desperate Housewives in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and US Hispanic Market.