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Disney Channel marks 10th anniversary in Japan

“Mickey Mouse!”—a new program—will be broadcast on the Disney Channel on Friday night. © Disney

Publication Date : 29-11-2013


The channel has also aired programmes produced for the Japanese market


To mark its 10th anniversary in Japan, Disney Channel is airing a 10-week special event titled “Disney Channel: Maho no Jusshukan” (A magical 10 weeks) through January, with a focus on popular Disney masterpieces along with new works featuring Mickey Mouse.

Disney Channel began broadcasting in Japan a decade ago on November 18—the day Mickey Mouse made his debut in the United States more than 80 years ago. It is available on broadcast satellite and communication satellite services.

In Japan, Disney Channel has broadcast films and cartoons produced in the United States. However, it has also aired programmes produced for the Japanese market, such as a cartoon set in Okinawa Prefecture featuring the well-known Disney character Stitch as the protagonist.

As of the end of September, 6.1 million households in Japan can have access to the channel.

According to a Video Research Ltd. survey that covered 37 CS channels, Disney Channel was the most popular among many categories of viewers, such as entire households, family households and kids aged 4 to 12.

The 10-week special includes Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, which are new works featuring slapstick stories involving Mickey Mouse and his friends in their daily life.

On Friday, a programme titled “Friday Movie” will feature 10 movies, including “Winnie The Pooh”.

“Saturday Magic” will broadcast 10 works, including “Disney Channel: Time Machine Daihoso,” which will mainly feature works broadcast around the time the channel first began broadcasting.

Quality first, not viewing rates

“We have broadcast programmes after thorough research regarding what TV viewers want to see,” said Eddie Cox, vice president and general manager of the Disney Channels of The Walt Disney Co. (Japan), looking back on the past 10 years. “We haven’t put emphasis on simply gaining high viewership ratings, but on the quality of our programming. We’ve particularly made efforts to show programmes that parents are happy for their children to watch.”

According to Cox, animated TV shows are in more demand in the Japanese market than elsewhere. Disney brand products also attract more women, including those who have young children, than in other countries. They are the visitors to Disney facilities, viewers of cartoons and consumers of merchandise.

Cox said he expects paid channels will expand in the future.

“We’ll provide programmes that can be seen not only on TV, but also on tablets and smartphones as well,” he said. “We’ll also try to make our free ‘Dlife’ BS channel more popular.”

A new TV cartoon based on Marvel’s “The Avengers” is in the works and will be shown via terrestrial broadcast beginning in April, Cox said.


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