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Disney-ABC signs Russian deal

Channel One takes pics, programs

LONDON — Disney-ABC Intl. Television has struck its largest deal to date in Russia, inking a multi-year partnership with state broadcaster Channel One.

Agreement covers Disney features from recent years, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Wild Hogs,” as well as ABC’s frosh drama series “Dirty Sexy Money.”

Also included are animated classics such as “The Jungle Book,” “101 Dalmatians” and “Peter Pan,” all of which will air as part of a new monthly “Wonderful World of Disney” family film slot on the channel.

“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,” said Tom Toumazis, exec VP and managing director for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada.

The deal comes at a time of strong growth for the Mouse House in Russia. TV sales revenues for the market have increased by more than 400% in the last three years, while this year’s third instalment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise was the number one foreign release of all time.

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