Barrett Cernis lands Disney ABC1 TV channel launch

The Walt Disney Company has appointed Barrett Cernis to handle the launch of its new entertainment channel ABC1.

The channel launches on September 27 and will be broadcast on Freeview, initially between 6am and 6pm. In the longer term, Disney hopes to broadcast on cable and Sky Digital and to extend to a 24-hour operation.

The channel will be supported by an above-the-line advertising campaign using television and outdoor. Media buying and planning will be handled by Disney’s media agency in the UK, Carat.

ABC1 is the company’s first non-Disney branded channel to launch outside the US.

Unlike Disney’s other channels in the UK, ABC1 will not be a premium subscription channel and will instead rely on advertising and sponsorship for income.

Disney has yet to appoint an advertising sales house for the channel, which will not take advertising immediately.

John Hardie, senior vice-president and managing director of Walt Disney branded television for Europe, Middle East and Africa, has pledged to make the channel “the most advertiser-friendly environment in the country”.

The schedule includes UK premieres of US soap General Hospital and sitcom Sports Night.

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