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Case Title:

Disney Channel's Competitive Strategies

Publication Year : 2003

Authors: Uma Shanker Shastry, T Phani Madhav

Industry: Entertainment


Case Code: MKS0003

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Disney Channel was one of the earliest channels for kids to appear on American television. The channel originally started as a pay channel in 1983 and catered to a comparatively small segment of the market. It was not until 1993 that the channel started transforming itself into a basic cable network. However, the transformation had its own challenges in terms of programming and distribution strategies. Besides, the channel was free from commercials and the only revenue it generated was from cable operators.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the Disney channel's transformation under the stewardship of its president, Anne Sweeney
  • To discuss the channel's unique segmentation strategy and the revenues the channel generated through merchandising its shows like 'Lizzie McGuire' and 'That's So Raven'
  • To highlight how Disney Channel acquired a distinct status in the Walt Disney Group.

Keywords : Disney Channel; Walt Disney; Tween; Kids channels; Basic cable; Programming strategy; Anne Sweeney; Lizzie McGuire; Raven; Hilary Duff; Commercial-free; Child stars; ABC Cable Networks; Competitive Strategies Case Study; Cable operators; Pay channel


  • Disney channel
  • Behind the scenes
  • Programming strategy
  • Leveraging success
  • Looking ahead

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