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Disney XD (British and Irish TV channel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Disney XD
Disney XD - 2015.svg
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Republic of Ireland
HeadquartersHammersmith, London
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Timeshift serviceDisney XD +1 (2009–30 April 2020)
OwnerDisney Channels Worldwide
The Walt Disney Company Limited
(Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International)
Sister channels
Launched2 October 1996; 25 years ago (1996-10-02) (as Fox Kids)
Closed1 October 2020; 14 months ago (2020-10-01)[1]
Former namesFox Kids Network
Fox Kids
(at time of closure)
Virgin MediaChannel 707
WightFibreChannel 111
Sky (UK & Ireland)Channel 611 (HD)
Channel 645 (SD)
TalkTalk Plus TVChannel 482
BTChannel 482
PlusnetChannel 482
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live
(UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (UK only)

Disney XD (formerly Fox Kids and Jetix) was a British and Irish pay television channel. First launched as Fox Kids, it originated from the United States, and was owned by Fox Television Entertainment, before rebranding itself to Jetix in 2005.[2][3][4] The British version of Fox Kids was the first European variant before being expanded to other European countries during the late 1990s.


Fox Kids

Fox Kids launched the British version of its channel in October 1996, broadcasting between the hours of 6am to 7pm. This was the first Fox Kids channel to launch in Europe and the second channel to launch under the name overall after the Australian version feed. Fox Kids time-shared originally with Sky 2 and later National Geographic Channel, before extending its hours to 10pm. Fox Kids consisted of live-action and animated comedy, drama and action-adventure programmes for children of all ages, Fox Kids also programmed up to seven hours of advertisement-free educational series each week.[5]

"Our tremendous success in the U.S. is a testament to the fact that Fox Kids' unique and innovative programming and branding formula appeals to children. The strong performance of Fox Kids and Saban International's series currently broadcast in the UK indicates both a tremendous interest in - and an exceptional opportunity for - our unique brand of children's entertainment. We have an opportunity to expose an entirely new audience to the excitement of Fox Kids Networks around the world." " The channel will be the exclusive, first-run home for many episodes of the most popular children's series from its U.S. channel, including "Goosebumps", the top-rated U.S. children's programme, "Casper", the No. 1 new animated series for kids in the U.S. and the long-running U.S. hit, "The X-Men". Fox Kids Network also will feature programmes from Saban's extensive library of international children's titles."

Margaret Loesch, President, Fox Kids Networks Worldwide[5]

In early 2001, Fox Kids claimed one million children watched the channel every week. Fox Kids also restructured its operations into two divisions, content and commercial.[6] In July 2001, Disney acquired Fox Family Worldwide from News Corp and Haim Saban, which give Disney 76% ownership of Fox Kids, which included the British operations.[7] In November 2003, Fox Kids began broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week.[8]


In January 2004, Fox Kids International announced plans to rename its operations to Jetix, which implied action and adventure.[9] In April 2004, the transition started with the Jetix block operating every day from 3pm to 7pm,[10] In September 2004, the block become part of the morning line-up, between the hours of 7am to 9am.

That same month,[11] a monthly Jetix Magazine was launched as part of the rebrand, produced under licence by Future Publishing. The magazine covered a wide aspect of content including news, interviews, music and sports. Ronnie Cook, managing director at JCP, added: "We're excited to be able to offer this new UK title for kids. The Jetix Magazine will also provide viewers with a crucial marketing tool for upcoming channel activity."[12][13]

In January 2005, Fox Kids was fully relaunched as Jetix. Cinema advertising campaign produced in house was instigated to help promote the rebrand, Jetix marketing director Allan Stenhouse says: "Cinema is a fast-paced, action-packed environment where both the quality of visual and audio communication enables us to excite children about Jetix."[14] Shortly after the rebranding, a new early-evening block was introduced named "Jetix Max". The Jetix Max slot included such shows as W.I.T.C.H., Totally Spies, Martin Mystery, Funky Cops, Power Rangers, PXG and Black Hole High. Jetix Max was dropped in June 2006, although it remained on other Jetix channels around Europe.[citation needed]

In September 2007, Jetix signed a deal with Sky and Virgin to allow its content to be used on their video on demand services. Jetix and Nordic managing director Boel Ferguson said, "We are excited about securing these deals and continue to pursue distribution opportunities to make Jetix programming even more accessible to consumers". Further enhancement occurred in November 2007, when its online website started to include video clips of its programmes.[15]

Disney XD

Logo used from 2009-2016.
Logo used from 2009-2016.

In December 2008, Disney bought out the remaining 26% share in Jetix to acquire full ownership of the company.[16][17] Disney relaunched Jetix as Disney XD, in the United States, followed by relaunch in the UK in August 2009, replacing Jetix. That same month, Jetix's on-screen logo was removed and replaced with Disney XD's logo counting down the days to the launch.[17][18][19] Disney XD was aimed towards boys aged 6 to 14[20][21] with Disney Channel focusing more toward girls.

Disney XD eventually expanded to include live-action films and sports coverage developed in collaboration with ESPN[22] and also introduced Aaron Stone, Phineas and Ferb and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and continued to air shows that previously aired on Jetix, such as Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension, Jimmy Two-Shoes, Kid vs. Kat, American Dragon: Jake Long and Phil of the Future.


The one-hour timeshift channel, Disney XD +1, closed on 30 April 2020. Its Sky EPG slot was given to BabyTV.[23][better source needed]

Disney announced on 25 June 2020 that Disney XD, along with sister channels, Disney Channel and Disney Junior, will close in the UK on 1 October 2020, after almost 24 years on-air, due to Disney failing to reach a new carriage deal with Sky and Virgin Media. The channel's content was transferred exclusively to Disney+.[24] Amphibia was the final program to ever air its new content, and the final program to be broadcast on the day of its closure was "Wonders of the Deep", an episode of the 2013 short TV series, Mickey Mouse.[25][better source needed] It then showed promos (the final promo being one for Big City Greens) before the channel froze for a few seconds, cutting into the channel's ident image and officially closing Disney XD.

The channels were removed from Virgin Media a day before closure.

Pop-up channels

During 2017 and 2018, the now defunct timeshift channel of Disney XD occasionally was replaced by pop-up temporary channels which lasted a month.

  • Spider-Man: In July 2017, the channel was known as "Spider-Man Channel".[26]
  • Mickey and Pals: On 4 September 2017, the channel was temporarily rebranded as "Mickey and Pals", which aired various programming from Disney Junior.[26]
  • Avengers: On 1 April 2018, the channel was temporarily rebranded as Avengers channel, airing non-stop Avengers Assemble throughout the month as well as exclusive content to promote the release of Avengers: Infinity War. It reverted on 30 April 2018.[27]


Disney XD HD

Disney XD HD, a high-definition simulcast of Disney XD, launched on Sky channel 633 on 18 October 2010 in the UK.[28] The channel broadcasts HD versions of Disney XD's popular live action shows and animated programmes, such as Phineas and Ferb, I'm in the Band, Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil and Zeke and Luther. This marks Sky's fiftieth HD channel, meeting Sky's HD channel target of 50 HD channels by Christmas 2010.[29]

Launch events

Disney XD launched with a large launch campaign. Four launch initiatives were designed to introduce Disney XD to children in the UK:

Beach Soccer

In 2009, Beach Soccer was a joint initiative between England Beach Soccer and Disney XD, holding Beach Soccer Roadshows across central and Southern England. An artificial beach was built in each of the five locations: Portsmouth, Nottingham, Minehead, Hyde, (Greater Manchester) culminating in a Beach Soccer final on Oxford Street, London on Saturday 29 August 2009.[30][31] In 2012, the event came to Sunderland.[32]

Dance with Diversity

Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity helped to launch Disney XD by accepting a challenge to teach 100 young street dancers a one-off routine and then perform it in front of the crowds in Covent Garden. Diversity were given just a few days to teach the 100 young dancers the routine and how to perform it all together. Disney XD set the challenge to Diversity to help inspire kids to learn new activities. The challenge was documented in the programme Disney XD Challenge: Diversity, which aired on Disney XD in September 2009.

Skate Britain

British skateboarding legend, Pete King, skated his way across the UK to help get kids out and skateboarding as part of the launch of Disney XD.

From Land's End to John O'Groats, Pete King kick-flipped and tail-slid through the UK executing daredevil tricks while conducting master classes for kids looking to become the next British skateboarding stars. Pete's challenge was part of a series of challenges which Disney XD set for UK personalities to help inspire kids to try new activities. Viewers were able to watch the highlights of Pete's journey on Disney XD in October 2009.[33]

World record attempt

Friday 28 August 2009, saw history being made as 250 children came together to form a giant 'human joystick' to set the new world record for the biggest ever game of virtual keepy-uppy, with former England and Liverpool F.C. football star and gaming fan, Jamie Redknapp, led the bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.[33][34]


  1. ^ Alexander, Julia (25 June 2020). "Disney is eliminating Disney Channel in the UK, moving titles to Disney Plus". The Verge. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  2. ^ Schneider, Michael; Grego, Melissa (9 September 2001). "Fox Kids net adopted by Fox TV Ent". Variety. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  3. ^ Tomlinson, Heather (28 July 2001). "Murdoch parts with the Power Rangers and the preacher man". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 August 2010.[dead link]
  4. ^ Cerone, Daniel (20 February 1993). "Animated Series Has Helped Fox Challenge the Other Networks on Saturday Mornings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  5. ^ a b "FOX KIDS NETWORK LAUNCHES ITS FIRST-EVER EUROPEAN CHILDREN'S CHANNEL - September 05,1996 /PR Newswire UK/". Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  6. ^ Week, Marketing (16 November 2000). "Fox Kids UK gives ad role to Stenhouse". Marketing Week. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Disney buys Fox Family". CNN. 23 July 2001.
  8. ^ "MEDIA BRIEF: Fox Kids UK extends schedule". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  9. ^ "ABC Cable Networks Group, Fox Kids Europe And Fox Kids Latin America Launch Jetix As New Global Action-adventure Kids Programming Business". Jetix Europe. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  10. ^ Week, Marketing. "Fox Kids UK to change its name to Jetix". Marketing Week. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  11. ^ Edgerton, Vicky (9 September 2004). "Future launches kids magazines | FeaturesExec Media Bulletin". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Jetix and Future unveil new monthly children's magazine - Brand Republic News". 6 September 2004. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Mediatel: Newsline: Future Enters Kids Market With Jetix Magazine". Mediatel: Newsline. 2 September 2004. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  14. ^ Week, Marketing (25 November 2004). "Disney plans rebrand for Fox Kids in the UK". Marketing Week. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Broadband VOD driving Jetix". 16 November 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  16. ^ Shepherd, Robert (8 December 2008). "Disney to acquire Jetix Europe | News | Broadcast". Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  17. ^ a b Tristan O'Carroll, 08.12.2008. "Disney moves for Jetix Europe takeover - Media news". Media Week. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  18. ^ "AWN Headline News | Animation World Network". 18 February 2015. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  19. ^ Welsh, James (5 March 2009). "Jetix to become Disney XD - Media News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  20. ^ "Disney to launch ad-supported boy-focused channel". Media Week. 15 June 2009.
  21. ^ "Disney XD Launch Date Announced for U.K." AWN Headline News. 27 July 2009. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  22. ^ Laughlin, Andrew (15 June 2009). "Disney XD to launch in the UK - Media News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  23. ^ "Sky Help Team". Twitter. 30 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Disney To Close Kids Channels In The UK Following Launch Of Disney+". Deadline Hollywood. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  25. ^ "What's on Disney XD?". Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  26. ^ a b Munn, Patrick (16 August 2017). "Disney UK Plots 'Mickey And Pals' Channel Takeover". TVWise. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  27. ^ Houghton, Rianne (21 March 2018). "Marvel's Avengers is getting its own TV channel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Disney XD to launch in HD on Sky". Digital Spy. 15 October 2010.
  29. ^ "Disney XD Launches In HD On Sky". Sky. 15 October 2010.
  30. ^ "Disney Xd Beach Soccer Tour". Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  31. ^ "Beach Soccer News from". 6 May 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  32. ^ "Disney XD Archives - Beach-Events & Solutions: Urban Beach Builds Beach-Events & Solutions: Urban Beach Builds". Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  33. ^ a b "The Frank PR News Blog: NEWS FROM DISNEY XD". 28 August 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  34. ^ "Disney XD: Guinness World Record Attempt - Photocall - Pictures". Zimbio. Retrieved 22 February 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 December 2021, at 19:27
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