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Disney Channel Coming to Russia

In our Brand Licensing Europe issue, we talked about the difficulty of breaking into the Russian market. Now Disney has done it.

According to a report in The New York Times by Brooks Barnes, Disney will purchase 49 percent of SevenTV, a broadcast network reaching three-quarters of Russian television households. United TV Holding Russia will remain the majority owner of the channel, which will be rebranded as a Disney Channel and feature classic Disney children’s shows and new programs created in Russia.

This is potentially huge news for a licensing industry that has gained a foothold in western Europe but struggled to find its way against local brands in Russia. The backstory to this deal is probably incredible, and it obviously remains to be seen if this is a harbinger of things to come or whether Disney, with its considerable muscle, managed to place itself far enough ahead of a curve that we won’t see similar deals in the coming years.

Either way, it’ll be interesting.

—Bryan Joiner

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