Disney XD (United Kingdom and Ireland)
|Launched||19 October 1996|
|Owned by||Disney–ABC Television Group|
|Picture format||576i (16:9 SDTV)
0.1% (+1) (November 2012, BARB)
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom
|Formerly called||Fox Kids Network (until 1998)
Fox Kids (until 1 January 2005)
Jetix (until 31 August 2009)
|Sister channel(s)||Disney Channel
Sky Movies Disney
|Timeshift service||Disney XD +1|
|Sky||Channel 607 (SD/HD)
Channel 608 (+1)
Channel 622 (SD)
|Virgin Media||Channel 707
Channel 708 (+1)
|TalkTalk Plus TV||Channel 557|
|Sky Go||Watch live
(UK and Ireland only)
|Virgin TV Anywhere||Watch live (UK only)|
Disney XD is a British children's television channel owned by Disney–ABC Television Group.
The channel launched as Fox Kids on 19 October 1996. Broadcast hours were between the hours of 06:00 and 19:00 and timesharing with Sky 2 and later National Geographic Channel. Eventually, broadcasting hours were extended to 22:00. Operating hours were extended again on 3 November 2003, when the channel began broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The channel consisted of live-action and animated comedy, drama and action-adventure programmes for children of all ages, as well as up to seven hours of commercial-free educational series each week.
In 2001 Disney bought Fox Family Worldwide from News Corporation and Saban Entertainment. The deal gave Disney 76% ownership of Fox Kids Europe, which reached up to 24 million subscribers, as well as ownership of Fox Kids channels in Latin America, which had 10 million subscribers.
In April 2004, the Jetix brand was gently introduced in the form of a programming block on Fox Kids. The Jetix programming line-up aired every day between the hours of 15:00 and 19:00. In September 2004, the block was also included in the morning line-up, airing between the hours of 07:00 and 09:00.
The Jetix block originally featured programmes such as: Shaman King, Sonic X, Digimon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jackie Chan Adventures, Totally Spies, Black Hole High, MegaMan: NT Warrior, Hamtaro, Martin Mystery, Robot Wars and Power Rangers Ninja Storm.
Fox Kids was rebranded as Jetix at midnight on 1 January 2005. The Jetix programming blocks were dropped, and the shows that it contained were integrated into the normal programming schedule. Shortly after the rebranding, a new early-evening block was introduced named "Jetix Max". The Jetix Max slot included such shows as; W.I.T.C.H., Totally Spies, Martin Mystery, Funky Cops, Power Rangers, PXG and Black Hole High. The Jetix Max slot was dropped in June 2006, although it remained longer on other Jetix channels around Europe.
Following the launch of Disney XD in the US, Disney–ABC Television Group confirmed that Jetix would be rebranded as Disney XD on 31 August 2009. On 12 August 2009, the Jetix on-screen DOG was removed and replaced with a Disney XD countdown DOG.
Disney XD launched with the premiere of the Disney XD's first original series, Aaron Stone, along with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The channel continues to air shows that previously aired on Jetix, such as Pokémon Battle Dimension and Iron Man: Armored Adventures, as well as programmes formerly shown on Disney Channel including Phil of the Future and American Dragon: Jake Long and current programmes Phineas and Ferb, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, The Suite Life on Deck and Gravity Falls.
Disney XD HD
Disney XD HD, a high-definition simulcast of Disney XD, launched on Sky channel 633 on 18 October 2010 in the UK. The channel broadcasts HD versions of Disney XD's popular live action shows and animated programmes, such as Phineas and Ferb, I'm in the Band, Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil and Zeke and Luther. This marks Sky's fiftieth HD channel, meeting Sky's HD channel target of 50 HD channels by Christmas 2010.
Disney XD launched with a large launch campaign. Four launch initiatives were designed to introduce Disney XD to children in the UK:
- Beach Soccer
- Dance with Diversity
- Skate Britain
- World record attempt
Beach Soccer was a joint initiative between England Beach Soccer and Disney XD, holding Beach Soccer Roadshows across the UK. An artificial beach was built in each of the five locations, and beach soccer tournaments were held in Southampton, Nottingham, Minehead and Stockport culminating in a Beach Soccer final in Oxford Street, London on Saturday 29 August 2009.
Leading the programme was the England National Beach Soccer squad themselves, who were on hand to teach skills and drills and oversee the day's coaching sessions.
Dance with Diversity
Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity (dance troupe) helped to launch Disney XD by accepting a challenge to teach 100 young street dancers a one-off routine and then perform it in front of the crowds in Covent Garden. Diversity were given just a few days to teach the 100 young dancers the routine and how to perform it all together.
Disney XD set the challenge to Diversity to help inspire kids to learn new activities. The challenge was documented in the programme Disney XD Challenge: Diversity, which aired on Disney XD in September 2009.
Mitchell, who at 12 years old is the youngest member of Diversity, said: "We've had so much fun creating this dance for Disney XD and I can't wait to watch the new channel!"
British skateboarding legend, Pete King, skated his way across the UK to help get kids out and skateboarding as part of the launch of Disney XD.
From Land's End to John O'Groats, Pete King kick-flipped and tail-slided through the UK executing daredevil tricks whilst conducting masterclasses for kids looking to become the next British skateboarding stars.
Pete's challenge was part of a series of challenges which Disney XD set for UK personalities to help inspire kids to try new activities. Viewers were able to watch the highlights of Pete's journey on Disney XD in October 2009.
World record attempt
Friday 28 August saw history being made as 180 children came together to form a giant 'human joystick' to set the new world record for the biggest ever game of virtual keepy-uppy.
The game used cutting edge motion sensor technology and saw kids from across the country collectively heading a virtual football for as long as possible without it dropping.
Set at the Parklife site on Oxford Street, a giant television screen and live detection webcam connected to a series of computers tracked each kid's movement as they headed straight into the record books. The crowd's collective actions controlled a single game character and successfully kept a header-rally going.
As a first in the field, Guinness World Record adjudicator Gareth Deaves attended the event to monitor the attempt and after declaring the attempt a success presented the World Record certificate to Jamie Redknapp who accepted the award on behalf of Disney XD.
Jamie Redknapp said: "I'm really pleased to be involved in this activity – it's so important that kids get the opportunity to experience new things and being part of setting a World Record is a great achievement!"
Jamie's challenge was the latest in a series which Disney XD set for UK personalities to help inspire kids to try new activities.
As Disney XD is aimed at children aged 6 to 14, some shows are edited for content that is considered violent, scary or contains flashing images. Many of these edits have been brief and thus would not have been noticed had they not aired on other channels uncensored. The most notable edits were on former Fox Kids/Jetix programmes Naruto, Goosebumps, MegaMan NT Warrior, and Power Rangers.
Future Publishing published the official Jetix Magazine until September 2009. Released every four weeks, the magazine featured puzzles and features based on the channel's characters as well as a six page Power Rangers comic. New issues contained a Sonic X comic based on the current Sonic X comic series by Archie. The magazine frequently included a free DVD featuring shows from the channel.
From 3 September the magazine became Nitro! due to Jetix rebranding as Disney XD. The magazine will still offer four free gifts per issue; however it will cover all major children's content rather than the content previously shown on Jetix. 
- "Disney buys Fox Family". CNN. 23 July 2001.
- "Disney to launch ad-supported boy-focused channel". Media Week. 2009-06-15.
- "Disney XD Launch Date Announced for U.K.". AWN Headline News. 2009-07-27.
- "Disney XD to launch in HD on Sky". Digital Spy. 15 October 2010.
- Future rebrands Jetix Magazine as Nitro! – Brand Republic News. Brandrepublic.com (2009-07-15). Retrieved on 2011-04-09.