Disney flips Jetix France to Disney XD; others expected to follow

Disney is rebranding its boy-skewed Jetix channel in France as Disney XD. The name change was announced on the same day that fledgling channel Disney XD launches in the US where it replaces Toon Disney.

Disney, which recently took full control of Jetix Europe, plans to flip its Jetix channels in Japan and Latin America to Disney XD although the timeframe has not been detailed.

A Disney spokeswoman said it is evaluating whether to change other Jetix Europe channels to XD. "We’re looking at those markets on a case by case basis," she said.

Meanwhile, The New York Times today ran an interview with Anne Sweeney, co-chairwoman of Disney’s Media Networks division, and reported that Disney will rebrand all international Jetix channels by end-2009.

Disney XD France launches on April 1. Disney said the programming line-up will include a mix of live-action and animated fare, alongside locally acquired shows. The Jetix channel struggled to renew its deal with French pay TV operator CanalSat, but agreed new carriage terms after protracted negotiations.

Since taking full control of Jetix Europe, Disney has installed John Hardie as CEO. The Disney man will run the kids channel operator and continue in his current role as executive VP, Disney Channels EMEA.