Astral launches French-language Playhouse Disney Channel with Bell TV

TORONTO, May 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Astral Media (TSX: ACM.A/ACM.B) today announced that it will launch a French-language version of the Playhouse Disney channel. Featuring entertaining and learning-based programming for younger audiences, this service will feature popular programming from Disney together with celebrated Canadian series. The channel will be available to Bell TV subscribers across Canada on July 5.

"Building on the well-known Disney brand and the vibrant legacy of characters such as Mickey Mouse, Playhouse Disney has proven to be a popular destination for engaging, learning-focused and fun programming for families in English Canada. As such, Astral chose to build on this strong brand and leverage its long-standing relationship with Disney to launch Playhouse Disney under our existing preschool licence," said Marie Collin, Senior Vice President Programming and Communications, Canal Vie, VRAK.TV and Ztélé.

"Playhouse Disney programming is already available throughout the world in a multitude of languages so the introduction of this service is a logical next step for our business and a natural extension of Astral's commitment to providing relevant, appropriate and highly entertaining programming to families across Canada," added Dominique Cornellier, Vice President Marketing and Communication, Astral Tele Reseaux. "With the debut of the French-language channel, francophone families will now also have the opportunity to enjoy the exclusive and quality programming that Disney is known for, all in a safe and commercial-free environment. The service will also provide an opportunity to showcase the best in Canadian programming including the newly developed series Stella and Sam, based on the popular books by Quebec writer Mary-Louise Gay."

Kevin Crull, President of Bell Residential Services, said: "Bell is very happy to be the first television provider to offer a French-language Disney channel in Canada. By offering such entertaining and in-demand content to Canadians coast to coast, along with leading services such as remote PVR, the best HD PVR and the most HD channels, Bell continues to deliver an unparalleled TV experience."

Playhouse Disney will air popular Disney shows including La maison de Mickey (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), Les Zic-Magines (Imagination Movers) and Agent Spécial Oso (Special Agent Oso). Original Canadian productions such as Maggie et la Bête Féroce (Maggie and the Ferocious Beast), Elliot et ses amis (Elliot the Moose) and Les Doodlebops (The Doodlebops) and the newly developed Stella and Sam will also have pride of place on the new network.

Playhouse Disney is a commercial-free channel available in French and English to subscribers across Canada. Committed to offering engaging, educational and development-based programming for younger children, the channel offers exclusive, first-run programs from Disney together with celebrated Canadian series to create an environment for fun and learning. Visit us at

SOURCE Astral Media inc.