Disney inks deal with Russia's Channel One


The Walt Disney Co.'s international TV licensing arm, Disney-ABC International Television, has inked a major, multiyear partnership with Russian state broadcaster Channel One. The deal involves movie titles, live-action series, animated series and telefilms. Tied into the agreement is the planned launch of monthly family film timeslot "The Wonderful World of Disney."

Also in the cards as part of the agreement will be joint TV and movie production arrangements.

Disney's Russian TV business has been on a general upturn, with total distribution revenue up more than 400% in the last three years, according to Thursday's announcement.

"It is an important milestone in the history of Russian television and will contribute to the further strengthening of Disney brand in Russia," said Marina Jigalova-Ozkan, general manager of the Walt Disney Co. CIS.

Added Konstantin Ernst, general manager of Channel One: "Our partnership will not be limited to movies acquisitions but will be broadened towards the joint production of movies and shows here in Russia"

Feature titles in the deal include "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "Wild Hogs" as well as such Disney/Pixar titles such as "Finding Nemo." Also included are Disney animated classics including "The Jungle Book," "101 Dalmatians" and "Peter Pan," which will be shown on free TV in Russia for the first time.

Among the new TV series included in the deal is "Dirty Sexy Money."