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Disney Closes ABC1 in UK

Citing problems in getting access to spectrum on the Freeview platform, Walt Disney Television is closing down entertainment channel ABC1 in the U.K. after three years on air, reports C21 MEDIA. A decision has yet to be made on whether Disney will sell the spectrum or whether it will substitute another of its channels.

"Since we launched ABC1, we have refocused sharply on the development of the Disney brand, in particular the Disney Channel, and the growth in the UK and Europe in the past few years has been phenomenal," said John Hardie, exec VP and MD of Walt Disney Television EMEA. He added that, while the channel had found a strong daytime audience, the difficulties with Freeview and the focus on Disney branding had led to the decision that "it was best to move on."

The launch of the channel in September 2004 marked Disney's first use of the ABC brand outside the U.S.