Murdoch and Disney Forge Global TV Brand Targeting Kids

12 January 2004


Even word association freaks would be hard put to think of appropriate synonyms. Not so Bruce Steinberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Kids Europe."Action, adventure, humour and edginess," he responds in a flash.

And dollar bills. Potentially billions of them.

Steinberg compares Jetix to an "empty vessel" into which the brand values of Fox and Disney will be injected. And then, critics fear, ingested by billions of children across the globe.

The new venture is a cooperative project between Fox Kids, a worldwide children's brand in which both News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company have an interest. Disney's ABC Cable Networks Group is also deeply involved.

The parties boast that programmes (mainly cartoons) produced and aired under the Jetix brand will reach one hundred and thirty-seven million homes in 77 countries in 18 languages.

The brand name makes its US debut in February, with Jetix programmes blazoned across kids' morning programmes on the ABC Family Network and in prime time on Toon Disney. By April, the Jetix brand will start its rollout via the Fox Kids channels across Europe and the Middle East. The formula will then be replicated across Latin America.

Steinberg denies the venture will impose a diet of mind-numbing programmes on children, arguing instead that it will increase choice as Fox Kids channels around the world will make and schedule their own programmes.

"We will build on this new alliance to continue to successfully leverage our programming library through our channels, consumer products, programme distribution and online and interactive businesses."

Harmonized Anne Sweeney, president of ABC Cable Networks Group and Disney Channel Worldwide: "Jetix is a strategic, ad-supported complement to Disney-branded television around the world, including our twenty-two Disney Channels."

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff