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Disney’s ‘Zone’ hits Argentina TV

Cuatro Cabezas will participate in broadcast prod'n

MIAMI — Disney Channel Latin America will bow “Zapping Zone,” its first original production for Argentinean television, on broadcaster Azul May 13.

The live, one-hour show will air Sunday nights on the No. 3 broadcaster.

“Zapping Zone” is presently co-produced by the Mouse House and indie company Cuatro Cabezas as a live show weekdays from 6-8 p.m. for the southern-cone feed of Disney Channel Latin America, which launched last July.

Cuatro Cabezas will also participate in the broadcast production.

Unlike in the U.S., the Disney Channel is premium-only in Latin America, a region where premium services are not widely available.

The broadcast TV version of “Zapping Zone,” which includes interviews, games, musical performances and news, will target the same nine- to 14-year-old aud as the original. Show reps a way for Disney to cross-promote the channel and its brand.

“Disney Channel’s ‘Zapping Zone’ on open TV is a fundamental step in our strategy to reach all segments of society with positive, modern and original content,” said Dieger Lerner, president of the Walt Disney Co. Latin America.

Although no deals have been struck yet, Disney is interested in pursuing a similar idea in Mexico and Brazil.

Mexican indie Argos produces “Zapping Zone” for the northern Spanish-lingo signal. The Portuguese-lingo channel bowed April 5 in Brazil, where Disney has partnered with RGB.

Disney has a multiyear output deal in place with No. 2 Brazilian broadcaster SBT. A similar deal with Mexico’s TV Azteca expires this year and has not been renewed.