Kids rule, ok?


South Africa and the rest of Africa is a priority market for The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) according to Christine Service, country manager for South Africa and non-French speaking Africa.

“The recent launch of Disney XD (targeted at boys aged 6 to 14) and Disney Junior, a brand new channel for children aged 2 to 7, in South Africa and Africa is testament to the importance of this market for us and our continued investment to grow our business there.

“Once we look at producing local programming elements in the future, we will evaluate all options for doing this – both via local companies and international companies,’ says Service.

Disney Junior builds on the success of the globally popular Playhouse Disney and is the next step in TWDC’s global pre-school strategy. “The Playhouse Disney programming block was launched on Disney Channel in Africa in 2006. With Disney Junior we keep the best of Playhouse Disney while at the same time introducing new shows that will appeal to our loyal Disney fans, as well as developing new shows that will appeal to the slightly older six to seven year olds who are not quite ready for the other Disney Channels,’ explains Service.

She notes that Disney undertakes research with its viewers. “This is done both internationally and locally to develop our programming. The feedback that we have had from South African viewers is that they love Disney Channel and want more channels from Disney in this market.’

Disney Junior’s animated and live action programming is developed to inspire learning through play and includes singing, dancing and having fun. “These are activities we know preschoolers love to do,’ continues Service. “Disney Junior’s programmes in particular emphasise the social and emotional development of children and offer tools for learning life’s lessons.

“Although we offer a mix of animated and live action programming we do place emphasis on the latter. Based on our research and discussion with kids and parents, this is where there is the most demand and appetite for the Disney Junior target audience.’

The channel blends the best of Disney’s heritage like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Special Agent Oso, as well as brand new shows like Jake and the Neverland Pirates.


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