|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
Republic of Ireland
|Picture format||1080i HDTV |
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Timeshift service||Disney XD +1 (2009-30 April 2020)|
|Owner||Disney Channels Worldwide |
The Walt Disney Company Limited
(Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International)
|Launched||2 October 1996(as Fox Kids)|
|Closed||1 October 2020|
|Former names||Fox Kids Network |
(at time of closure)
|Virgin Media||Channel 707|
|Sky (UK & Ireland)||Channel 611 (HD)|
Channel 645 (SD)
|TalkTalk Plus TV||Channel 482|
|Sky Go||Watch live|
(UK and Ireland only)
|Virgin TV Anywhere||Watch live (UK only)|
Disney XD (formerly Fox Kids and Jetix) is a defunct British and Irish pay television channel. First launched as Fox Kids, it originated from the United States, and was owned by Fox Television Entertainment, before rebranding itself to Jetix in 2005. The British version of Fox Kids was the first European variant before being expanded to other European countries during the late 1990s.
Fox Kids launched the British version of its channel in October 1996, broadcasting between the hours of 6am to 7pm. This was the first Fox Kids channel to launch in Europe and the second channel to launch under the name overall after the Australian version feed. Fox Kids time-shared originally with Sky 2 and later National Geographic Channel, before extending its hours to 10pm. Fox Kids consisted of live-action and animated comedy, drama and action-adventure programmes for children of all ages, Fox Kids also programmed up to seven hours of advertisement-free educational series each week
Margaret Loesch, President, Fox Kids Networks Worldwide
In early 2001, Fox Kids claimed one million children watched the channel every week. Fox Kids also restructured its operations into two divisions, content and commercial. In July 2001, Disney acquired Fox Family Worldwide from News Corp and Haim Saban, which give Disney 76% ownership of Fox Kids, which included the British operations. In November 2003, Fox Kids began broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week
In January 2004, Fox Kids International announced plans to rename its operations to Jetix, which implied action and adventure. In April 2004, the transition started with the Jetix block operating every day from 3pm to 7pm, In September 2004, the block become part of the morning line-up, between the hours of 7am to 9am.
That same month, a monthly Jetix Magazine was launched as part of the rebrand, produced under licence by Future Publishing. The magazine covered a wide aspect of content including news, interviews, music and sports. Ronnie Cook, managing director at JCP, added: "We're excited to be able to offer this new UK title for kids. The Jetix Magazine will also provide viewers with a crucial marketing tool for upcoming channel activity."
In January 2005, Fox Kids was fully relaunched as Jetix. Cinema advertising campaign produced in house was instigated to help promote the rebrand, Jetix marketing director Allan Stenhouse says: "Cinema is a fast-paced, action-packed environment where both the quality of visual and audio communication enables us to excite children about Jetix." 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. Jetix Max was dropped in June 2006, although it remained on other Jetix channels around Europe.
In September 2007, Jetix signed a deal with Sky and Virgin to allow its content to be used on their video on demand services. Jetix and Nordic managing director Boel Ferguson said, "We are excited about securing these deals and continue to pursue distribution opportunities to make Jetix programming even more accessible to consumers". Further enhancement occurred in November 2007, when its online website started to include video clips of its programmes.
In December 2008, Disney bought out the remaining 26% share in Jetix to acquire full ownership of the company. Disney relaunched Jetix as Disney XD, in the United States, followed by relaunch in the UK in August 2009, replacing Jetix. That same month, Jetix's on-screen logo was removed and replaced with Disney XD's logo counting down the days to the launch. Disney XD was aimed towards boys aged 6 to 14 with Disney Channel focusing more toward girls.
Disney XD eventually expanded to include live-action films and sports coverage developed in collaboration with ESPN and also introduced Aaron Stone, Phineas and Ferb and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and continued to air shows that previously aired on Jetix, such as Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension, Jimmy Two-Shoes, Kid vs. Kat, American Dragon: Jake Long and Phil of the Future.
Disney announced on 25 June 2020 that Disney XD, along with sister channels, Disney Channel and Disney Junior, will close in the UK on 1 October 2020, after almost 24 years on-air, due to Disney failing to reach a new carriage deal with Sky and Virgin Media. The channel's content was transferred exclusively to Disney+. Amphibia was the last program to air new content, and the last program to be broadcast on the day of its closure was "Wonders of the Deep", an episode of the 2013 short TV series, Mickey Mouse.[better source needed] It then showed promos (the final promo being one for Big City Greens) before the channel froze for a few seconds, cutting into the channel's ident image and officially closing Disney XD.
The channels were removed from Virgin Media a day before closure.
During 2017 and 2018, the now defunct timeshift channel of Disney XD occasionally was replaced by pop-up temporary channels which lasted a month.
- Spider-Man: In July 2017, the channel was known as "Spider-Man Channel".
- Mickey and Pals: On 4 September 2017, the channel was temporarily rebranded as "Mickey and Pals", which aired various programming from Disney Junior.
- Avengers: On 1 April 2018, the channel was temporarily rebranded as Avengers channel, airing non-stop Avengers Assemble throughout the month as well as exclusive content to promote the release of Avengers: Infinity War. It reverted on 30 April 2018.
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.
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Disney XD launched with a large launch campaign. Four launch initiatives were designed to introduce Disney XD to children in the UK:
In 2009, Beach Soccer was a joint initiative between England Beach Soccer and Disney XD, holding Beach Soccer Roadshows across central and Southern England. An artificial beach was built in each of the five locations: Portsmouth, Nottingham, Minehead, Hyde, (Greater Manchester) culminating in a Beach Soccer final on Oxford Street, London on Saturday 29 August 2009. In 2012, the event came to Sunderland.
Dance with Diversity
Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity 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.
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-slid through the UK executing daredevil tricks while conducting master classes 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 2009, saw history being made as 250 children came together to form a giant 'human joystick' to set the new world record for the biggest ever game of virtual keepy-uppy, with former England and Liverpool F.C. football star and gaming fan, Jamie Redknapp, led the bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
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