The Walt Disney Company India (simply Disney India) is the Indian subsidiary of American Media Conglomerate The Walt Disney Company, and is a premier entertainment company in India. The Walt Disney Company (India) is a public limited company, which develops and produces motion pictures and videos for children. The company is based in Mumbai, India and operates as a subsidiary of Walt Disney Company.
In March 2019, post the acquisition of majority of assets of 21st Century Fox which included Indian TV giant STAR India, Disney India has become India's biggest television broadcaster.
Walt Disney India was formed in August 1993 with licensing agreement as a joint venture partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Modi Enterprises. Disney filed in October 2001 with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to create a wholly owned subsidiary company to launch the Disney Channel in India. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion granted Disney an initial approval for the subsidiary but with Modi protesting due to similarities to their joint venture. When the 10 year licensing agreement ended, Modi and Disney could not come to a new agreement, thus ending the joint venture agreement in August 2003.
Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific) took over distribution of content in September 2003 to STAR Movies, AXN and HBO plus 29 hours of children's programs per week to DD Metro, Eenadu, SET, Star Plus and StarWorld.
The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited (WDCI) started operations in July 2004 based in Mumbai. On 17 December, Walt Disney Television International India launched the Disney Channel and Toon Disney channel with three language feeds (English, Tamil and Telugu). The channels are to be distributed by the Star Group. WDCI planned to initially focus on its channel operations before expanding in to other areas. In the long term, a Disney theme park in India is possible as land has been reportedly found on the outskirts of Delhi. Also in December and partnered with Indiagames, the Walt Disney Internet Group released Disney games, wallpapers and ringtones in the market which is also available on AirTel. In 2005, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) has begun working with various Indian retail outlets to establish Disney Corners within the outlets to sell licensed merchandise. In August, Funskool India and Disney entered in a contract for Funskool to sell Disney Princess products in India. In July 2006, Disney India acquired a controlling stake in Hungama TV from UTV Software Communications Limited while also taking a 14.9% share in UTV. On 26 September, the Disney Jeans brand was launched under license to Indus Clothing, who planned to open 30 Disney Jean stores by the end of 2007. In October, DCP franchised to Ravi Jaipuria Corporation the rights for five years to set up 150 Disney Artist brand stores and wholesale under the Disney Artist brand Disney character branded greeting cards, stationary, arts, crafts and party product in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives.
In 2008, the company took an additional 17.5% share in UTV.
Disney Publishing Worldwide (India), a division of Walt Disney Company (India), announced a licensing agreement in April 2009 with local publisher Junior Diamond to publish Disney comic books, in both English and Hindi. Jetix/Toon Disney switch over in India to Disney XD on 14 November.
In May 2011, Disney and UTV agreed to co-produce Disney branded family films with both handling creative function and UTV producing, marketing and distributing the films. Walt Disney Company (South East Asia) Pvt Ltd. in July 2011 offered to purchase the public shareholders' stakes with approval given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for them to increase their ownership. In February 2012, Disney announced the completion of the acquisition of UTV with UTV Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Screwvala becoming Managing Director of TWDC India.
Disney Channel India
Disney Channel India has adopted a 360 degree blanket approach for marketing and promoting its new property amongst its target groups. Disney Channel (India) is also running locally acquired content such as Shararat and Son Pari and is now also experimenting with Bollywood content to draw in a larger audience.
- Disney Consumer Products
- Disney Interactive
- Disney Media Networks
- Playhouse Disney India
- Disney Studios
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- Leahy, Joe (13 September 2006). "Disney switches on to Hindi market". Retrieved on 11 May 2014.
- "Disney Jeans launched, plans 30 stores" (26 September 2006). Retrieved on 23 April 2014.
- "Disney to set up 150 stores in India", TNN (12 October 2006). Retrieved on 23 April 2014.
- Sinha, Ashish (18 June 2008). "'UTV investment is long-term play'". Retrieved on 23 April 2014.
- "Disney launches comic books in India". Business-standard.com (2009-04-15). Retrieved on 2010-08-21.
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- "Walt Disney to acquire controlling stake in UTV", Press Trust of India (1 February 2012). Retrieved on 23 April 2014.
- "Disney launches its theatrical brand with Beauty and the Beast", Business Standard (August 12, 2015). Retrieved on August 13, 2015.
- Indiantelevision.com > Kidology > Disney extends local content; launches new show on 27 April
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