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UPN to Air Disney Block

Viacom-owned cable network UPN has reached anagreement with Buena Vista Television to broadcast Disney animatedchildren's programming. Starting in fall 1999, UPN will air a two-hourblock of syndicated, Disney-branded shows which is most likely to includeprograms from the "Disney's One Saturday Morning" block which currentlyairs on ABC: "Disney's Recess," "Disney's Doug," "Disney's Pepper Ann" and"Disney's Hercules." Kellogg's, which sponsored the "Disney Afternoon"syndicated program block, will retain it's primary sponsorship role as theprogramming moves to UPN. Buena Vista will sell the block in territorieswhich are not reached by UPN affiliates. Advertising time will be splitbetween the two companies. This deal closes over two months of negotiationsin which UPN was also talking to Nickelodeon about a similar kidsprogramming deal. "Children's programming has long been a significantpriority for me," said UPN CEO Dean Valentine, "This exemplifies our planto aggressively attract the mainstream television audience to watch UPN andit's a giant step in our growth as a broadcast network." Valentine wasactually involved in the development of several of these Disney shows whenhe was president of Walt Disney Television and Television Animation beforebeing hired away as CEO of UPN in September 1997 [AF 9/23/97].