World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Disney Channel (UK)

Article Id: WHEBN0018421408
Reproduction Date:

Title: Disney Channel (UK)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Home Improvement (TV series), Caitlin's Way, Alex Lovell, Capital Disney, Hannah Montana, High School Musical 2, Tim Dixon, Julie Buckfield, My Camp Rock, 1995 in British television
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Disney Channel (UK)

For the Disney Channel in other countries, see Disney Channel (international). For the original Disney Channel in the United States, see Disney Channel.
Disney Channel
Launched Disney Channel
1989 (Postponed)
October 1995
Disney Channel +1
1999 (Original)
June 2006 (Relaunch)
Closed Disney Channel +1 March 2006
Owned by Disney–ABC Television Group
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.4%
0.1% (+1) (October 15, 2013, BARB)
Country United Kingdom
Headquarters Chiswick, London
Formerly called The Disney Channel
(until 1 March 1997)
Replaced by Disney Cinemagic +1 (Disney Channel +1 (Original))
Sister channel(s) Disney Junior
Disney XD
Sky Movies Disney (50%)
Timeshift service Disney Channel +1
Website Sky Channel 609 (SD/HD)
Channel 610 (+1)
Channel 631 (SD)
Virgin Media Channel 724
Channel 725 (+1)
TV Choice On Demand
UPC Ireland Channel 613
Channel 633 (HD)
TalkTalk Plus TV Channel 555
BT Channel 555
Streaming media
Sky Go Watch live
(UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)
UPC Horizon Now TV Watch live (UK only)

Disney Channel is a kids and teen's entertainment channel available in the United Kingdom and Ireland since 1 October 1995. A one hour timeshift service called Disney Channel +1 is available on Sky and Virgin Media. Disney Channel currently has three sister channels; Disney Junior, Disney XD and 50% of Sky Movies Disney .

Up until 1 July 2013, Disney Channel and Disney Junior (UK & Ireland) were commercial-free.


Disney Channel has an interactive television service on Sky, in which viewers are able to press the red button on their Sky remote to access information about TV series, character profiles, detailed TV listings, quizzes, and hundreds of messages submitted by viewers. The interactive service also includes links to a small selection of games. Some can be played as 'overlay' games, with the channel video continuing in the background; others are accessible via a link to a Disney-branded section of BSkyB's Sky Games interactive service. The overlay games are developed by Pushbutton and French game developers Visiware. The interactive service was designed and built by Pushbutton, and went live in September 2007 and was taken off in September 2011 [1] replacing the old service created by Tamblin. Previously, Disney Channel also had a Teletext service, consisting of about 200 pages, known as Disney Text.

Disney Channel used to be translated in British Sign Language on its late evening programming. All of Disney Channel's shows are currently audio described on Sky.

History and availability

1989, 1995-1997: Disney Channel's postponed and early years

Disney Channel was originally planned to launch in 1989 on the newly launched Sky satellite service. It was featured in much of the promotional material surrounding the launch of Sky Television and the Astra satellite. Due to an apparent dispute, the launch was cancelled. Sky Television filed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company for not launching the channel.The lawsuit was closed later.[2]

Super RTL launched in April 1995, as a joint venture between RTL Group predecessor company Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion and The Walt Disney Company. Seven months later, the channel appeared on 1 October 1995. At first the channel's broadcasting hours were 06:00 to 22:00 with Sky Movies Gold airing during the station's downtime.

1997-1999: Red and blue era

In 1997, Disney Channel in the UK receiced a brand overhul as the channel adopted a new Mickey Mouse head shape logo.

1999-2003: The circles era

On May 1, 1999, Disney Channel in the UK received a brand overhaul as the channel adopted a new circle logo, with three symmetrical circles forming the iconic Mickey Mouse head shape. Along with the logo change, a new ident set, created by French design company GÉDÉON, was introduced on the same day. The branding was carried over to other Disney Channel international networks starting on June 1999.

On 29 September 2000, Disney Channel launched two sister channels, a preschool-oriented Playhouse Disney (now known as Disney Junior) and the now-defunct 24-hour cartoon channel Toon Disney (Which eventually got replaced with Disney Cinemagic which itself became Sky Movies Disney). A one hour timeshift of Disney Channel also launched on the same day. All 3 were only available to Sky subscribers. NTL and Telewest customers could only receive the main Disney Channel. On all platforms, the Disney Channel package was a premium offering, requiring an additional subscription fee in order to view, though Sky subscribers could receive the channels for free if they also subscribed to the full Sky Movies package (aka Sky Movies World, with contained 4 Sky Premier channels, 5 Sky MovieMax channels and 2 Sky Cinema channels). Despite the launch of Playhouse Disney, Disney Channel continue to air a block of Playhouse Disney-branded preschool programmes during school mornings, although has in recent years been greatly reduced.

2003-2007: The bounce era

On 15 March 2003, Disney Channel in the UK adopted the American Disney Channel's new logo (designed by CA Square), along with new graphics.

In early 2006, Sky and Disney were locked in ongoing negotiations over a new contract for carriage on the former's digital satellite television service. The previous, ten-year deal, which was inked while Sky floated on the stock exchange in 1994, was temporarily extended whilst both sides attempted to reach an agreement. Sky was understood to have been seeking a substantially reduced payment towards the kids broadcaster. A new agreement, reported to be worth £130 million a year, was reached on 27 February 2007. As a result, on 16 March, changes were made to the Disney services in the UK. Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney ceased to be premium add-on channels and instead operated as part of basic-level subscription packages (such as Sky's "Kids Mix".) A new premium service, subscription channel Disney Cinemagic, was launched to take the Disney slot in the Sky Movies premium bundle; Toon Disney was replaced with Cinemagic, Toon closed at 6:00am and Cinemgaic launched at 10:00am. Disney Channel's main one-hour timeshift, Disney Channel +1 closed for 3 months and was replaced with Disney Cinemagic +1. However, Disney Channel +1 subsequently returned on 26 June 2006.

PlayHouse Disney also launch a timeshift service, the channel replaced ABC1 and took up the space Discovery Kids left.

On 27 October 2006, Disney Channel was added to Top Up TV Anytime, a service that downloads programming overnight from various channels to a Thomson DTI 6300-16. In 2007, Disney added more VoD content to Virgin Media's Service. On 22 November 2007 it was announced Disney Channel would join the lineup for Picnic, BSkyB's proposed new pay-TV service for DTT.

2007-2011: The ribbon era

2007 saw the debut of two new original series, the That's So Raven spin-off Cory in the House, which ended after only two seasons (a possible casualty of the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, which caused freshman or sophomore series whose production was interrupted midway through the season to eventually be cancelled), and the popular Wizards of Waverly Place, starring Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin.

2008 is recognized for its new series such as Phineas and Ferb, Brian O'Brian, and The Suite Life on Deck, a spin-off of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, plus new Disney Channel Original Movies such as Camp Rock, Minutemen and The Cheetah Girls: One World. The Suite Life on Deck was the number one series in the respective categories "Kids aged 6 to 12 years old" and "Tweens aged 9 to 14 years old" in 2008.

In 2009, Disney Channel launched two new series: Sonny with a Chance (the first original series shot in high definition) starring Demi Lovato in February, and JONAS, starring the Jonas Brothers in May. New movies in 2009 included: Dadnapped, Hatching Pete, Princess Protection Program, and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie. The four original movies for 2009 had the widest range of Disney Channel stars in the network's history.

For the first time ever, the Disney Channel Original Movie Starstruck premiered in May 2010, and was displayed in a widescreen aspect ratio (16:9). A new set of program mini-idents that would play before the program would start were launched on Saturday 11 September 2010. The theme for each ident is made for the program. The idents previously had a polka-dot background.

This time, Disney Channel chose to broadcast most of their shows in a 4:3 aspect ratio, despite much of their newer programming being produced in a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

During Spring 2011, Disney Channel broadcast the final episode of the 5-year-lasting long-runner Hannah Montana, and the final episode of Wherever I Go premiered with 621,000 views [3] becoming the most watched program on Disney Channel in the United Kingdom.

2011-present: The smartphone-app logo era

On 1 September 2011, Disney Channel adopted the current US logo which launched in early 2010 as well as using the widescreen (16:9) format in all programming that has been produced in this format. Another version of the reface was later carried out in the US around fall in 2012. Disney Channel HD, a simulcast of the Disney Channel in HD, launched on 15 September 2011 on Sky.[4] The launch was accompanied by a handful of new series including A.N.T. Farm, Friends for Change Games, So Random! and PrankStars, the UK TV premiere of Lemonade Mouth and brand new episodes of shows such as Wizards of Waverly Place, Fish Hooks and Good Luck Charlie as part of the "New Season".[5]

In 2012, Disney channel launched two new series: Jessie starring Debby Ryan in February and Disney Channel Austin and Ally starring Ross Lynch and Laura Marano in April. Three Disney Channel Original Movies premiered during the first quarter of 2012, respectively Geek Charming, The Suite Life Movie and Frenemies, starring Bella Thorne and Zendaya. The Suite Life on Deck ended its run during February 2012 and Wizards of Waverly Place, Disney Channel's longest-running original series at the time, with 106 episodes, ended its run on the channel in March 2012.[6] On June 1, 2012, Disney Channel updated their television format to the format used for Disney Channel's USA network, with the premiere of the Disney Channel Original Movie, Radio Rebel. The new format included a refreshed logo and new bumpers and promo layouts.

On July, 2013, Disney Channel launched their new website which brought On Demand services to the website. From and July, 2013, Disney started running advertisements on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

Live presentation

Main article: Studio Disney UK

Until recently, live presentation was an important feature of Disney Channel. The best known example of this launched in September 1997 as Disney Channel UK Live, which was later relaunched as Studio Disney on 1 May 1999. Presenters included: Nigel Mitchell, Emma Lee, Leah Charles, Jean Anderson, Mark Rumble, Amy Garcia, Ollie from Freefaller, James McCourt, Jemma James (now Jemma Forte). Studio Disney ran on weekdays, usually from 16:00 to 19:00, in direct competition with similar services offered by CBBC, CITV and Nickelodeon. The show featured a team of between two and six presenters who came on air between programmes, giving viewers the opportunity to call in, interact and win prizes. Studio Disney also produced many of its own short programmes, including Wish Upon a Star and Junior Journo, which were aired during the block itself and between programmes at other times. Studio Disney bowed out on 1 July 2005, in line with the disappearance of afternoon in-vision presentation on CITV and Nickelodeon the previous year and leaving the channel with a format similar to that of its American counterpart.

The live presentation of the show would also run competitions in which viewers could win holidays, and other prizes. Special holiday competitions would be run, New Year, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Chinese New Year, Christmas, etc. For instance, a Mother's Day Competition of 2003 involved Emma Lee surprising four entrants and their mothers to a special get-away. Meanwhile, a Father's Day - Competition of 2004 involved James McCourt and Nigel Mitchell treating one lucky dad to a day at Silverstone Grand Prix track.

At other times of the day, prerecorded presentations were used, typically recorded in such a manner that viewers would believe that it was live. An example of this was the breakfast segment Up (later called Zoom!), which was hosted out-of-vision by Capital Disney presenter and managing director Will Chambers. Another example originated from the Monster March event that ran throughout March 2002, during which the schedule featured many monster-themed shows and movies. Prerecorded sketches featuring a Mexican dinosaur puppet named Raoul were inserted between programmes, and as this proved popular, Raoul was given a number of his own segments on the channel over the next few years, including The Raoul Show, Good Morning Raoul and The Raoul Summer. The best sketches from The Raoul Show would later be made into a series of short programmes entitled The Best of Raoul. Raoul was even the subject of a question on the 20th Anniversary edition of Trivial Pursuit.

Disney Channel also held an annual awards ceremony called the Disney Channel Kids Awards. The categories were centred around music, sport, television and film. The winners in each category were voted for by viewers online. The ceremonies, hosted by Studio Disney presenters, were held at The Royal Albert Hall and London Arena. These were broadcast on Disney Channel and Channel 5 and featured performances from popular music artists such as Girls Aloud.


Disney Channel's website features information, games, interactive features and contact details and submission forms. The site has been made entirely in Adobe Flash since 1 May 1999, the same day as the 1999 re-brand. In May 2003, it was completely redesigned to fit with the other Disney Channel's worldwide after the global re-brand. In 2007 it was added to, when the website's homepage was revamped to fit the look of the American site. In 2011, along with the other Disney sites, it was revamped. in September 2011, it was revamped once again, due to the new logo.

Sister networks

Disney XD

Main article: Disney XD (Europe) § UK and Ireland

Disney XD is a British television channel owned by The Walt Disney Company. Primarily aimed at boys aged 6 to 14, the channel features live-action films, animated shows as well as sports coverage which is developed in collaboration with ESPN.[7][8] The channel launched on 31 August 2009 replacing Jetix. The channel carries two counterparts, a timeshift channel and a HD channel.

Disney Junior

This television channel in the United Kingdom is aimed at preschool children. The channel was launched on 7 May 2011 replacing Playhouse Disney. The channel carries a timeshift channel and a HD version which replaced the HD version of the now defunct Disney Cinemagic.

Sky Movies Disney

Main article : Sky Movies

Sky Movies Disney is a movie channel joint with Sky which launched in March replacing Disney Cinemagic and Sky Movies Classic. Its first movie to air was Brave.

Defunct Sister networks

Disney Cinemagic

Main article: Disney Cinemagic (UK & Ireland)

Disney Cinemagic was a movie channel which launched in March 2006 replacing Toon Disney. Disney Cinemagic +1, a timshift service of the channel replaced Disney Channel +1, although that channel made a comeback. The channel closed on 28 March 2013 and was replaced with Sky Movies Disney.

Toon Disney

Main article: Toon Disney (UK & Ireland)

Toon Disney launched on the same day as Playhouse Disney, in September 2000. It had the same shows as Disney Channel with the subtraction of the real shows. It closed during March 2006 to be replaced with Disney Cinemagic.


Main article: Jetix

Jetix was a channel for boys and girls which launched in 2005 replacing Fox Kids. It normally aired shows of third party competitors. It was replaced with Disney XD in 2009.

Disney Channel services

  • iTunes

The channel regularly updates its iTunes library with the latest episodes. Some of these are available in HD.

  • Disney Channel On Demand is the channel's video-on-demand service, offering select episodes of the channel's original series. It is available from On Demand), Virgin Media and BT Vision.

Disney Channel programmes

Most watched programmes on Disney Channel

The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on Disney Channel in the UK, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 27 May 2013.[3] The number of viewers does not include repeats.

Rank Series title Episode title No. of Viewers Date
1 Hannah Montana Wherever I Go 621,000 27 May 2011
2 Good Luck Charlie Special Delivery 602,000 12 October 2012
3 Wizards of Waverly Place The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex 575,000 24 May 2013
4 The Suite Life on Deck Break Up in Paris 543,000 9 January 2011
5 Wizards of Waverly Place Wizards Exposed 535,000 18 February 2011
6 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Summer of Our Discontent 531,000 21 September 2007
7 Wizards of Waverly Place Wizards Unleashed/Puppy Love (UK) 521,000 29 October 2010
8 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Graduation 513,000 21 September 2007
9 The Suite Life on Deck Lost at Sea 513,000 21 February 2010
10 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Sink or Swim 488,000 21 September 2007

Top 5 most watched Disney Channel Original Movies

The following is a list of the five most watched Disney Channel Original Movies on Disney Channel UK, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 1 March 2012.[3] The number of viewers does not include repeats.

Rank Movie title No. of Viewers Date
1 High School Musical 2 1,336,000 21 September 2007
2 Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie 1,044,000 21 October 2009
3 High School Musical 835,000 22 September 2006
4 The Suite Life Movie 780,000 17 February 2012
5 Starstruck 683,000 14 May 2010


Disney Channel traditionally broadcast most of its movies, including Walt Disney Studios movies and Disney Channel Original Movies, on the main channel. These were usually shown daily at 7pm under The Wonderful World of Disney (earlier The Magical World of Disney) brand. On weekends, the channel would show at least three movies per a day. The Saturday Movie Showdown took place every Saturday morning, wherein viewers were invited to vote for one of a selection of three movies on the channel's website, the winner being aired in the 11am slot. Starting in 2003,[verification needed] Latterly, a movie was transmitted in widescreen with Dolby Digital Surround Sound on Sundays at 4pm - much of the channel's other content was in 4:3 at this time.

However, when Disney Cinemagic launched in March 2006, The Wonderful World of Disney and the Sunday widescreen movie were axed, and all Walt Disney Studios movies were moved over to the new channel, such that they can remain as a premium add-on. However, Disney Channel Original Movies are still broadcast regularly on Disney Channel, with premieres of new ones shown on Friday evenings a short while after their premiere in the US (usually a few weeks, though in some cases, such as Full Court Miracle and Tiger Cruise, the delay can be up to several years - the latter, which had its US premiere in 2004, has [as of 2012] never been aired in the UK). As a result of these changes, movies are now shown more frequently across Disney's channels overall, and non-Cinemagic subscribers can now see Disney Channel Original Movies. In December 2009 it was announced the Disney Channel UK was going to premiere two movies in that month; Den Brother and 16 Wishes, which is very rare for Disney Channel. This happened again in September 2011, with the premieres of Lemonade Mouth and Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension. The most recent movies to premiere were Girl vs. Monster on 26 October 2012[9] and Teen Beach Movie on 19 July 2013.[10]


In October 1995, the Disney Channel in the UK's logo was a simplified Mickey Mouse head, with 'The Disney Channel' text on the bottom. Six idents for the 1995 logo were created by Lambie-Nairn.

On 28 February 1997, the channel dropped 'The' from its name, with a new splat logo, for the launch of Disney Channel France. On 22 March 1997, Disney Channel France adopted the same logo and idents.

On 1 May 1999, to prepare for the new millennium, Disney Channel refreshed its identity as it launched its new Circles logo, with symmetrical circles forming the logo itself. The new ident set was created in CGI animation, with various objects forming the Disney Channel logo. The new identity package was created by French graphic design company, GÉDÉON. According to GÉDÉON, the new logo is also described as an "experimental field for animation".[11] More than 30 illustrators, animators, graphic designers, directors, and motion graphic studios, such as Gamma Studios, Estructura7, Velvet mediendesign, and Pedall, collaborated with the project.[12]

When the new look was first launched, nine idents air on the same day. Later that year more idents made by different companies began to appear. Some of the idents were also used in its sister channels, Playhouse Disney and Toon Disney.

In March 2000, Disney Channel France, which had adapted the same idents, did a contest called Les Grands Prix De L'imagination, suggesting ideas on making logos for the channel. The winner had their logo used by the channel and won a trip to Disneyland Paris.

On the morning of 15 March 2003, Disney Channel adapted a new logo used by Disney Channel in US. The idents and bumpers were created by CA Square.

On 1 September 2011, when Disney Channel HD launched in the UK, Disney Channel adapted the new European smartphone app logo.

On 1 June 2012, Disney Channel adapted the new smartphone app logo from the US.

On 1 July 2013, Disney Channel began airing advertisement breaks, meaning some shows would be around half an hour long or more, as opposed to previously 25 minutes. Disney still advertised their products before this date, however, they did not advertise other products.



External links

  • Disney Channel at TV Ark
  • Disney Channel in the UK's YouTube account

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.