Astral Media's Family Channel extends entertainment offering with multiplex channel


    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - Astral Media's Family Channel today announced
the launch of Playhouse Disney Canada, a multiplex channel targeting young
children. Launching November 30, 2007, the channel will feature entertaining
and development-based programming from Disney, together with celebrated
Canadian series.
    Building on the well-known Disney brand and leveraging a vibrant legacy
of characters such as Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh, Playhouse Disney will
give Family Channel a platform to better serve its younger audiences by
providing entertainment that kids want, coupled with the commitment to safe,
development-based programming that parents demand. In addition to programming
from Disney, the channel will also broadcast high-quality, original Canadian
content such as Franny's Feet, The Secret World of Benjamin Bear and King. As
such, Family will reinforce its commitment to programming for young children,
providing Canadian independent producers with further opportunities in the
licensing and commissioning of programming and generating broader exposure for
Canadian series.
    "Playhouse Disney Canada represents a broadening of the highly successful
partnership that has existed between Family and Disney for the last 20 years
and extends the successful model pioneered by Family Channel of bringing the
highly sought after and immensely entertaining programming of Disney together
with exceptional and award-winning Canadian series," said Joe Tedesco, Vice
President and General Manager of Family Channel. "Playhouse Disney Canada is
an extension of the Family Channel entertainment experience and we are
confident that Playhouse Disney will resonate with younger children and become
a destination for fun and entertaining programming that is engaging, unique
and family friendly."
    "We are pleased to be partnering with Family Channel to bring the
Playhouse Disney brand and programming to Canada," said Rich Ross, President,
Disney Channel Worldwide. "Playhouse Disney will offer programming that is
unique to the Canadian market and geared towards furthering childhood
development by making learning a playful, fun experience through engaging
characters, storytelling and music."
    As a multiplex channel, Playhouse Disney will be available only to Family
Channel subscribers. It is confirmed that the channel will launch November 30
on ExpressVu Digital TV from Bell, with other Canadian distribution deals to
be announced imminently.

    Family Channel is a commercial-free pay service offering the best in
family television entertainment in 5.5 million homes across Canada. Dedicated
to celebrating family life and providing a fun experience for all, Family airs
a unique mix of series, movies and specials, with a large portion of
programming supplied by Disney. Visit us at Family is an Astral
Media network.

    Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty,
pay and pay-per-view television, radio, outdoor advertising and the Internet.
Astral Media's solid and dynamic presence in the country's major markets rests
on its commitment to offer a unique combination of high-quality, targeted
media for all its audiences.

For further information:

For further information: Deborah Wilson, Vice President of
Communications at (416) 956-8558 or at

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