DIRECTV Latin America announced on Friday, April 6, 2001 the official debut of the Disney Channel to all DIRECTV subscribers in Brazil. The Disney Channel is a new, 24-hour Portuguese television network with entertainment for kids and families created specially for the Brazilian market. The Disney programming block includes exclusive and original productions, a two-hour live, daily show, movies, animated and live-action series, concerts and special events. The launch is the latest to come from the long-standing relationship between Walt Disney Television International and DIRECTV Latin America, a HUGHES Electronics Corporation affiliate. According to George W. Foyo, president of DIRECTV Latin America, "The Disney Channel represents the next step in our partnership with Disney, which started with the Disney Weekend years ago. Our mutual agreements will benefit our customers in many tangible ways, such as this excellent type of programming tailored to our Brazilian audience." Diego Lerner, president and managing director, The Walt Disney Company-Latin America, remarked, "It is a pleasure to announce that DIRECTV will have exclusive DTH rights for the Disney Channel in Brazil. This launch fulfills an important part of our mission to bring the Disney Channel to the entire Latin American region." DIRECTV currently has more than 1.3 million customers in Latin America and the Caribbean, reaching a total of 27 markets. It is the first digital direct-to-home entertainment service to reach Latin America and the Caribbean and is the leading provider of satellite television in the region. DIRECTV is currently available in: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela and several Caribbean island nations. To date there are thirteen international Disney Channels including Latin America, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Middle East and Taiwan.