Galaxy Latam inks Disney

10 year contract estimated at over $100 mil

ORLANDO — The Disney Channel will finally launch in Latin America in mid-2000, available to cable systems only as a premium channel, and on direct-to-home exclusively with satcaster Galaxy Latam.

Disney inked a 10-year contract with Galaxy Latam service for Spanish-lingo markets only. Terms were not disclosed, but Galaxy Latam chairman Kevin McGrath indicated the deal was worth more than $100 million.

Galaxy’s DirecTV service may effectively have a total exclusive on the channel for some time, since few cable systems in the region have the addressable pay boxes that allow for tiering.

A Portuguese channel for Brazil is being developed separately, for which an announcement is expected soon.

The Disney Latino channel will carry no advertising and will likely bow with two separate signals, one for Mexico and the northern part of South America and one for Argentina and the rest of the southern cone, Simon Kenny, exec VP broadcasting for Walt Disney Intl., Latam, told Daily Variety.

Programming exclusives with broadcasters Telefe in Argentina, SBT in Brazil or TV Azteca in Mexico will remain intact, said Kenny.

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