Deal brings toons, pix to Middle East and North Africa
ROME – Disney has inked a multi-year volume deal with Al Jazeera Children’s Channel, the pan-Arab free-to-air network that reaches millions of Middle Eastern and North African TV homes.
The large-scale agreement covers hit toon series, such as “Phineas and Ferb” and “Lilo and Stitch,” live action shows like “Zeke and Luther” and movies including “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story,” “Cars” and “Tangled.”
Disney content will go out across the Middle East and North Africa region on JCC, which targets 7-to-15-year-olds, and also on Bareem TV, its sister pre-school channel, which will air “Handy Manny,” “Little Einsteins,” and “Jojo’s Circus,” among other fare.
All shows will be dubbed into Arabic and will roll out in coming months.
JCC broadcasts on Arabsat, Nilesat, Hotbird and Eurobird, giving it reach into a large portion of the estimated 74 million TV homes in the region.
JCC topper Haya bint Khalifa Al Nassr called it “the start of an exciting content transformation, considering the aspirations, culture and identity of our Arab audience.”
The Disney deal follows a similar volume deal inked in late 2012 by JCC with BBC Worldwide.
“We continually look for opportunities to bring our hit stories and beloved characters to wider loyal audiences,” said Didier Vanneste, Disney’s country manager for the Middle East and North Africa.
Prior to this deal Disney had a pay TV presence in the region, where pay penetration is low.
Doha-based, Al Jazeera Children’s Channel is a separate, co-branded outfit from the Al Jazeera news and sports channels. It is managed by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.