Disney Channel (UK and Ireland)

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Disney Channel
DC 2014 hero.svg
Launched1 October 1995; 23 years ago (1995-10-01)
Owned byThe Walt Disney Company Limited
Disney Channels Worldwide
(Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Audience share0.15%
0.06% (+1) (April 2017 (2017-04), BARB)
CountryUnited Kingdom
Republic of Ireland
HeadquartersChiswick, England
Formerly calledThe Disney Channel
(until 1 March 1997)
Sister channel(s)
Timeshift serviceDisney Channel +1
Sky (UK & Ireland)Channel 609 (SD/HD)
Channel 610 (+1)
Channel 644 (SD)
Virgin Media
Channel 724
Channel 725 (+1)
TV Choice On Demand
Virgin Media IrelandChannel 613
Channel 633 (HD)
TalkTalk Plus TVChannel 490
BT / YouViewChannel 480
PlusnetChannel 480
Eir VisionChannel 609
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live
(UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere(UK)Watch live (UK only)
Virgin TV Anywhere (Ireland)Watch live (Ireland only)
Disney Life (UK)[1] (UK only)

Disney Channel is a kids and teen's entertainment channel available in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland since 1 October 1995. A one-hour timeshift service called Disney Channel +1 is available on Sky and Virgin Media. Disney Channel currently has two sister channels; Disney Junior and Disney XD.


Disney Channel was originally planned to launch in 1989 on the newly launched Sky satellite service. It was featured in much of the promotional material surrounding the launch of Sky Television and the Astra satellite. The joint venture with Sky collapsed May 1989 after discussion about the venture had been taking place since November 1988, but Disney felt it was no longer on equal footing on "decision-making responsibility" in 50-50 partnership. Disney was supposed to start up two channels, but when the talks broke down, Sky issued a lawsuit against Disney, claiming £1.5 billion in damages.[1][2] The suit was later settled with Disney selling its stake in the joint venture back to Sky, and agreeing to licence its movie library for a five-year period.[3]

The Disney Channel finally launched in the UK on the Sky platform on 1 October 1995 as the first Disney Channel in Europe and outside the United States.[4] Its first broadcast was the British television premiere of the animated feature The Jungle Book.

On 29 September 2000, Disney Channel launched two sister channels, a preschool-oriented Playhouse Disney (now known as Disney Junior) and the now-defunct 24-hour cartoon channel Toon Disney. Toon Disney eventually got replaced with Disney Cinemagic which itself became Sky Movies Disney). A one-hour timeshift, Disney Channel +1, launched on the same day. Despite the launch of Playhouse Disney, Disney Channel continued to air a block of Playhouse Disney-branded preschool programmes during school mornings, although in later years was greatly reduced, and the block was eventually disposed of altogether in July 2004. On 15 March 2003, a new logo and graphics were introduced.

On 16 March 2007, changes were made to the Disney services in the UK. Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney ceased to be premium add-on channels and instead operated as part of basic-level subscription packages (such as Sky's "Kids Mix".) A new premium service, subscription channel Disney Cinemagic, was launched to take the Disney slot in the Sky Movies premium bundle; Toon Disney was replaced with Cinemagic, Toon closed at 6:00am and Cinemagic launched at 10:00am. Disney Channel's main one-hour timeshift, Disney Channel +1 closed and was replaced with Disney Cinemagic +1. However, Disney Channel +1 subsequently returned on 26 June 2006.

On 27 October 2006, Disney Channel was added to Top Up TV Anytime, a service that downloads programming overnight from various channels to a Thomson DTI 6300-16. In 2007, Disney added more On Demand content to Virgin Media's service. On 22 November 2007, it was announced Disney Channel would join the lineup for Picnic, BSkyB's proposed new pay-TV service for DTT.

It began broadcasting in 16:9 widescreen on 14 May 2010. A new set of program mini-idents that would play before the program would start were launched on 11 September 2010. On 1 September 2011, a new logo was adopted. On 15 September 2011, an HD version launched on Sky.[5]

On 1 June 2012, Disney Channel introduced a refreshed logo and new bumpers and promo layouts. In July 2013, a new website was launched with On Demand services and commercial advertisements started to air.

On 18 July 2014, the channel adapted a new logo and presentation package with a refresh in April 2017, where the channel created new idents using a 2D version of the logo and later that year went 24/7.


Live-action series[edit]

Title Premiere date Current season
Bunk'd 20 November 2015–present 3
Bizaardvark 4 November 2016–present 3
Raven's Home 28 July 2017–present 2
Coop & Cami Ask the World 26 November 2018–present 1
Sydney to the Max 8 April 2019–present 1
Fast Layne 2019 1
Bug Juice: My Adventures at Camp 2019 1
Just Roll with It 9 August 2019–present 1

Animated series[edit]

Title Premiere date Current season
Star vs. the Forces of Evil 2019 3
Elena of Avalor 15 July 2016–present 2
Tangled: The Series 8 September 2017–present 2
DuckTales 13 August 2018–present 2
Big Hero 6: The Series May 2018–present 1
Big City Greens 12 November 2018–present 1
Milo Murphy's Law 3 April 2017–present 2
101 Dalmatian Street 14 December 2018–present 1
Amphibia 6 July 2019–present 1

Programming from other networks[edit]

(15 June 2019–present)

Reruns of ended series[edit]


Disney Channel Original Movies are broadcast regularly on Disney Channel, with premieres of new ones shown on Friday evenings a short while after their premiere in the US.


Disney Channel formerly had an interactive television service on Sky, in which viewers were able to press the red button on their Sky remote to access information about their series, character profiles, detailed television listings, quizzes, and messages submitted by viewers.

Studio Disney UK[edit]

Studio Disney was a live TV show, broadcast on Disney Channel UK. It launched in September 1997 as Disney Channel UK Live, and relaunched as Studio Disney on 23 April 2001. Some of the presenters included Nigel Mitchell, Emma Lee, Jean Anderson, Mark Rumble, Amy Garcia, David "Ollie" Oliver, James McCourt, Jemma Forte and Leah Charles-King. Studio Disney ran on weekdays, usually from 16:00 to 19:00, in direct competition with similar services offered by CBBC, CITV and Nickelodeon. The show featured a team of between two and six presenters who came on air between programmes, giving viewers the opportunity to call in, interact and win prizes. Studio Disney also produced many of its own short programmes, including Wish Upon a Star and Junior Journo, which were aired during the block itself and between programmes at other times. Studio Disney stopped broadcasting 1 July 2005, in line with the disappearance of afternoon in-vision presentation on CITV and Nickelodeon the previous year and leaving the channel with a format similar to that of its American counterpart.

In 2002, Studio Disney created its own music talent series called "Star Ticket" which aimed to create a five piece pop band, aged between 11-14, to perform at the Disney Channel Kids Awards 2002. Auditions were held in Edinburgh, London, Cardiff and Liverpool. The viewing public were able to vote for their desired band members, the name of the band and the name of the song they would be performing. The winning group, called X5 (pronounced times five), went on to record the song "Beyond the Stars" with a music video.


Disney Channel's website features information, games, interactive features and contact details and submission forms. The site has been made entirely in Adobe Flash since 1 May 1999, the same day as the 1999 re-brand. In May 2003, it was redesigned to fit with the other Disney Channel's worldwide after the global re-brand. In 2007, it was added to disneychannel.co.uk, when the website's homepage was revamped to fit the look of the American site. In 2011, along with the other Disney sites, it was revamped. In September 2011, it was revamped once again, due to the new logo.

Sister networks[edit]

Disney XD[edit]

Disney XD is aimed primarily at male pre-teens and teenagers 6–14 years of age, its programming consists of original first-run television series, current and former original series and made-for-cable films from sister network Disney Channel, theatrically-released movies, and live-action and animated programs from other distributors.

Disney Junior[edit]

Disney Junior (formerly known as Playhouse Disney) is a pre-school kids channel. The channel launched on 29 September 2000 as Playhouse Disney, the same day as the now defunct sister channel, Toon Disney.

Sky Cinema Disney[edit]

Defunct sister networks[edit]

Disney Channel services[edit]

  • iTunes - The channel regularly updates its iTunes library with episodes. Some of these are available in HD.
  • Disney Channel On Demand is the channel's video-on-demand service, offering select episodes of the channel's original series. It is available from On Demand), Virgin Media and BT Vision.
  • Disney Channel also has a YouTube channel, where videos from television series and films are posted.


In October 1995, the Disney Channel in the UK's logo was a simplified Mickey Mouse head, with 'The Disney Channel' text on the bottom. Six identifications for the 1995 logo were created by Lambie-Nairn. In February 1997, the channel dropped 'The' from its name, with a new logo, for the launch of Disney Channel France. In 1997, Disney Channel France adopted the same logo and identifications. In 1999, Disney Channel refreshed its identity as it launched its new "Circles" logo, with symmetrical circles forming the iconic Mickey Mouse head shape. The new set identification was created in CGI animation, with various objects forming the Disney Channel logo. The new identity package was created by French graphic design company, GÉDÉON. According to GÉDÉON, the new logo is also described as an "experimental field for animation".[6] More than 30 illustrators, animators, graphic designers, directors, and motion graphic studios, such as Gamma Studios, Estructura7, Velvet mediendesign, and Pedall, collaborated with the project.[7]

When the new look was first launched, nine identifications aired on the same day. Some of the identifications were also used on its sister channel, Playhouse Disney.


  1. ^ Richard W. Stevenson (16 May 1989). "Murdoch Broadcast Concern Sues Disney". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Number 2043". SWEDEN CALLING DXERS. 16 May 1989.
  3. ^ Kathyrn Harris (3 June 1989). "Disney Settles Fraud Suit With Murdoch's News Corp". The Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ "Walt Disney International Television Names Disney Channel-UK Executives". The Free Library.
  5. ^ "Selena Gomez marks Disney Channel HD launch". Digital Spy. 6 July 2011.
  6. ^ GÉDÉON - Disney Channel Corporate Design 1999
  7. ^ Broadcast Now : Disney Channel UK launches autumn schedule and new idents

External links[edit]