TORONTO, June 1, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Disney XD, the new digital specialty channel and multiplatform brand from Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A/ACM.B) launches today in homes across Canada. Available in high definition, Disney XD will launch with Rogers Communications, Bell Satellite TV, Bell Fibe TV, EastLink and Delta Cable. Disney XD will be available through TELUS as of June 20, with additional distributors expected to offer the new kids' channel in the coming months. Channel numbers for Disney XD are available by service provider at DisneyXD.ca.

"Disney XD is a truly unique channel that is targeted yet inclusive in its programming and approach, offering kids exclusive content that reflects what they find interesting and entertaining," said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Astral Kids."The sensibility of the brand and its focus on fun and adventure will engage viewers and deliver a robust kid and co-view audience. I am pleased that carriers and advertisers have recognized the opportunities presented by this channel and have come on board to ensure such a bold and successful launch."

Disney XD is an advertising-supported channel targeting boys ages 6-14 and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure and humour. While focusing on boys, the channel is still inclusive of girls who desire similar themes and programs. Leveraging the strong distribution and number of households that will receive the channel from launch, numerous retail brands keen to reach the Disney XD audience, have already signed on as advertising partners. These clients include MGA Entertainment and Parmalat, each of whom have committed to summer-long campaigns on the new channel. Additional advertising partners include Adidas, Disney Interactive Studios, Fox Home Entertainment, General Mills, Hasbro, Kellogg's, Lego, Paramount Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures.

To mark the launch of Disney XD, the channel will set sail on the high seas with Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET. Starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, the film tells the tale of the charming Captain Jack Sparrow and his nemesis, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech) as they battle over a stolen ship and a beautiful hostage.

Other programs premiering tonight include the new Disney XD exclusive animated series, Kick Buttowski - Suburban Daredevil which bows at 5:00 p.m. ET, prior to the feature film. Phineas and Ferb, Zeke and Luther and I'm In The Band as well as hit Canadian comedy, Wingin' It will also air.

In addition to the on-air launch, Disney XD today also launched dedicated on-demand channels with Rogers, EastLink and Delta Cable's On Demand services, as well as a Disney XD streaming service on Rogers On Demand Online (RODO). Disney XD will also soon be available through TELUS Optik TV On Demand. The channel's companion website, DisneyXD.ca, also offers Canadians an opportunity to sample the network with episodes, clips, contests and exclusive Disney XD games.

Disney XD is an advertising-supported digital specialty network and multiplatform brand offering a compelling mix of high definition live action and animated programming to homes across Canada. Disney XD features series, movies and short form content that focus on comedy, discovery, sports, 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 artwork and series information, visit http://press.astral.com

For a promotional spot for Disney XD, visit http://bit.ly/k0BDXt


For further information:

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

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