The arrival of the world-famous Disney brand is a landmark event for Ukrainian television, which suffers from a lack of programming dedicated to children.

The channel’s management said in the future it could produce Ukrainian content with local actors and crews, as they do in other markets.

“The market has been developing, and the arrival of such giant is remarkable,” said Iryna Kostyuk, head of Media Resources Management, a media consultancy.
Disney Channel has been broadcasting in Ukraine since August after the termination of Jetix channel, which is also owned by Disney.

At the official launch on Oct. 16, Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie greeted guests – including television stars and their children – at the Kyiv Academic Puppet Theater, decorated with balloons for the event.


Disney Channel targets young children, from ages 2 to 14, and their families. The channel intends to conquer this broad audience with its content.

Multiple Olympic champion in gymnastics, Lilia Podkopaeva, with her children

Disney Channel will offer Ukrainian viewers live studio favorites such as “Hannah Montana” and “Sonny With A Chance,” as well as hit animated series “Phineas and Ferb,” and movies such as “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.” The channel will also feature a daily Playhouse Disney schedule with a range of entertaining, learning-focused programming for preschoolers, including “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Handy Manny.”

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“The huge success of Disney Channels across Central and Eastern Europe has proved there is a great demand for the channel and we hope our smash-hit programming will help us become the leader of the kids’ TV market in Ukraine,” said Maciej Bral, vice president of Disney Channels in Central and Eastern Europe.

The company has marked huge expansion across Central and Eastern Europe and emerging markets with 60 channels launched over the last 10 years in the region.

TV newscaster Alla Mazur with her son Artem. (Courtesy photo)

“Do you think somebody could really compete with Disney?” asked Volodymyr Kmetyk, founder of the only Ukrainian channel for kids Malyatko TV. “I think it’s possible, but hard. Most important is that Disney should work according to Ukrainian legislation.”


By law, no less than 75 percent of programming should be in Ukrainian and 25 percent in languages of other national minorities. At the moment Disney Channel is broadcast with one audio track with a mix of content in English, Ukrainian and predominantly Russian. By the end of the year, it supposed to have two separate audio versions, one in English and another in Ukrainian and Russian.

Apart from Malyatko TV, which was launched only a year ago, other rivals of Disney Channel in Ukraine are big international networks Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Baby TV and Russian channels Teleniania, Detsky Mir and Znaniye. In general, in European countries there are at least twice as many channels for kids and teens.

One of the reasons why the kids’ television market in Ukraine is underdeveloped is the high production costs and restrictions in advertising.

Kyiv Post staff writer Oksana Faryna can be reached at [email protected]

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