ASTRAL LAUNCHES DISNEY XD JUNE 1, 2011 - KIDS' SPECIALTY CHANNEL AND MULTI-PLATFORM BRAND TO DEBUT ACROSS CANADA

TORONTO, March 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A ACM.B) today announced that it will add to its slate of kid services with the launch of Disney XD on June 1, 2011. An advertiser-supported network and multi-platform brand, Disney XD will feature a range of live-action and animated programming for kids aged 6-14, with a focus on boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, adventure and humour, while still being inclusive of girl audiences. Distribution partners for the new channel will be announced in the coming weeks.

"Disney XD is a unique offering in the marketplace. A brand that has already proven itself in the U.S. and in international territories, Disney XD is poised to win over Canadian audiences with exciting and fast-paced shows that burst from the screen with their energy and comedic sensibility," said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Astral Kids. "It is a testament to the strength of our ongoing partnership with Disney that we are set to launch another network with the Disney brand. I am confident that just like Family and Playhouse Disney, Disney XD will quickly become a must-have network in Canadian households." 

Carolina Lightcap, President, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, "As we continue to build Disney XD with great success around the world, we look forward to again partnering with the strong team at Astral to deliver Canadian viewers Disney XD's unique point of view. Disney XD speaks to boys 6-14, while including girls, and delivers empowering stories that depict accomplishment, heroism and teamwork, reflecting core Disney brand values." 

The Disney XD programming will include hit series from Disney as well as award-winning Canadian content, highlighting the themes of adventure, action, humour and discovery. Expanding on Family Channel's strong reputation with live-action comedy series, Disney XD will showcase brand new shows including the martial arts comedy Kickin' It and the animated Kick Buttowski - Suburban Daredevil. Fan favourites Phineas and Ferb and I'm In The Band , which currently air on Family Channel, will also find a home on the new network. Canadian comedy Wingin' It joins the Disney XD schedule along with other original productions such as new series, What's Up, Warthogs!.

In addition to the linear service, Disney XD will also launch through dedicated on demand channels as well as online broadband and mobile platforms. The new network website, DisneyXD.ca, will feature exclusive Disney XD games, behind-the-scenes clips, short-form content and contests.

Disney XD is an advertising-supported digital specialty network and multi-platform brand offering a compelling mix of live-action and animated programming to homes across Canada. Disney XD features series, movies and short form content that focus on comedy, discovery, accomplishment and adventure. Disney XD programming is also available through dedicated on demand and broadband services. Visit us at DisneyXD.ca.

Disney XD is a member of the Astral family. Astral Media Inc. is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several of the country's most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and interactive media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com.


For further information:

Please contact:
Kate Dickson at 416-956-8584 or kdickson@astral.com
Jaime Werby at 416-956-8547 or jwerby@astral.com