Disney XD Canada Launches June 1st
It appears Canada will join a whole host of other countries in their EXTREME DISNEY ACTION when we’ll get our own Disney XD channel in June. The channel, set up by Disney Junior, and Family Channel parent Astral Media will presumably take the US versions Disney produced programming and air it within a reasonable time span. Disney XD in the US is home to a variety of content, from Disney Channel reruns of Phineas and Ferb, to new Marvel series, and Naruto Shipudden. The smart money is on Astral using their CRTC approved Family EXTREME broadcast license for this channel, which expires in four years. It should be noted that the Family Extreme broadcast license is for a Category 2 channel, which would put it in the same tier to the likes of Nickelodeon Canada, than say, Teletoon.
It will be interesting to see how Astral handles the channel. History shows that they’ve handled action series incredibly poorly on the Family Channel, often times sending them off to unpublicized early morning broadcasts, which in other terms means, they sent them to die. But, the ever increasing amount of Marvel animation on the US channel (a product of Disney’s takeover of the comic company) makes dumping these series to AM hours highly difficult as time slots are limited, and the popularity of the series should knock some sense into them.
But at this moment, what I’m most curious about is how this leaves Teletoon. Teletoon has an exclusive relationship with Marvel preceding the whole Disney takeover, but I would have to imagine that deal may be close to expiring. If not, I would imagine that Astral, as a co-owner of Teletoon, may want to prioritize the Marvel content, and keep newer content exclusive to XD to encourage subscription. But as I mention before, as ownership is the same there is nothing stopping content from eventually finding its way to channels like Teletoon, or Family.
Lastly, I understand some people may be waiting with bated breath on the possibility of Naruto Shipudden airing on the channel, but I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Historically, Astral’s childrens’ channels simply live off of original productions, and stuff they get for low costs via their relationship with content producers such as Disney. Naruto’s a third party show on Disney XD in the US, and is handled by Viz Media, a company that Astal has never dealt with outside of the possibility of French dubs of their anime airing on Vrak.TV (which as far as I know, never occurred).