Disney Launches Cable Channel To Keep Boys Inside (DIS)


Disney rebranded its failing Toon Disney cable channel as Disney XD at 12:01 last night. Disney says the channel is “boy-focused, girl-inclusive.”

It will feature action-adventure programming and some sports news.

One of the shows is called “Aaron Stone.” It’s a about a super-secret crime fighter living a double life.

Disney hopes to target boys aged 6 to 14 and their dads. Researchers tell the New York Times its a $50 billion market.

The problem for marketers is that marketing-sceptical pre-teen boys tend to spend less time in front of the TV and more playing video games. Sometimes they even play outside — putting perfectly good eyeballs to waste.

“Our ultimate bull’s-eye is boys and their dads,” Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide, told the Times.

“Advertisers have been telling me for many, many years that they are looking for a competitor in this space.”

Lego, General Mills, Kellog’s, Kraft and Pokémon USA already say they will advertise on the channel.

Because it’s taking over the Toon Disney channel, Disney XD already reaches 72 million homes. In Europe, Disney will turn its recently acquired Jetix channel in to Disney XD before 2009 ends.