TORONTO, May 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Families can welcome Disney Junior into their homes today as the newly branded channel launches across Canada. As of 6:00 a.m. ET subscribers of Playhouse Disney, both English and French, will see the channels transform into Disney Junior. Featuring entertaining and learning-focused programs for young viewers and their families, Disney Junior celebrates magical, musical and heartfelt stories with shows that feature beloved classic and contemporary characters. The Disney Junior linear channel is complemented by a new dedicated Disney Junior on-demand channel and network website providing subscribers with a rich multiplatform experience.

"With a renewed focus on storytelling and imagination and a continuing commitment to learning and exploration, Disney Junior represents the best Disney has to offer young children," said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Astral Kids. "The Disney Junior brand offers a rich environment across multiple platforms for kids and their families to connect with stories, characters and experiences that are unique and entertaining. We are proud to launch this exciting new brand today and bring the magic and music of Disney into homes across the country."

Anchored by the new animated series Jake and the Never Land Pirates, the English-language Disney Junior lineup features interactive and imaginative series for preschoolers and their families. The network offers fan favourites including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Special Agent Oso and Handy Manny, as well as acclaimed Canadian series such as Stella and Sam, Franny's Feet and The Secret World of Benjamin Bear. The launch of Disney Junior also sees three new short-form series debut on Canadian screens: Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps and Mickey's Mousekersize each introduce healthy lifestyles using well-known Disney Junior characters. The third series, A Poem Is…, pairs legendary Disney animation with poems narrated by familiar voices including Jennifer Garner and Katie Holmes.

From today, dedicated Disney Junior on-demand channels also debut for many digital subscribers. Now separate from Family OnDemand, subscribers of Disney Junior can access their favourite Disney series whenever it suits them for free on Disney Junior OnDemand. Popular Canadian series, including Stella and Sam and Franny's Feet, are also available on the on-demand and online platforms. The network also launches a new DisneyJunior.ca website, featuring activities, games, schedule information and a special section for parents.

Disney Junior is a commercial-free channel available in French and English to subscribers across Canada. Committed to offering the best in engaging and development-based programming for younger children, Disney Junior showcases series with a focus on imaginative storytelling. Presenting exclusive, first-run programs from Disney together with celebrated Canadian series, Disney Junior is also available through Disney Junior OnDemand and Disney Junior OnLine.

Disney Junior is a member of the Astral family. Astral Media Inc. (TSX : ACM.A/ACM.B) 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:

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

For artwork, logos and series information, visit http://press.astral.com
USERNAME: disneyjunior
PASSWORD: astral

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