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Disney XD, the newest kids channel on the block, officially launched March 16 on StarHub TV in Singapore. TV ASIA Plus spotlights the first children’s channel offered in HD on the platform’s kids tier.

The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia has launched its newest kids channel, Disney XD, on StarHub TV in Singapore. Singapore is the second country in Southeast Asia to air the channel, following its debut on Malaysia's Astro last September. The channel also has the distinction of being the first High-Definition kids channel offering on StarHub TV.

XD airs in two languages – English and Mandarin – and is targeted at kids aged from 6 – 14. The channel sits on StarHub's Kids Basic Group and is available on the pay-TV platform's “TV Anywhere” service, allowing for multi-device viewing. The broadcaster calls the channel “a boy-focused, girl-inclusive channel” with a programming mix comprising original Disney XD series, action/ adventure movies, animation, anime and sports entertainment.

“Disney XD reflects the lives of young Singaporeans through its creative storytelling – the spirit of self-discovery and accomplishment. Whether it's scoring the goal, nailing the trick, mastering the riff or getting to the next level, the channel's storytelling entertains and inspires kids to keep trying no matter what the outcome,” says Natasha Malhotra, General Manager, Branded Media Content, The Walt Disney Company, Southeast Asia. “We continue to work with StarHub in reaching out to our consumers through newer and immersive digital applications.”

Malhotra also tells TV ASIA Plus that among the Walt Disney group of channels, the focus for 2013 is definitely on Disney XD. While acknowledging that similar content can sit on either the flagship Disney or Disney XD, the differentiating factor are the distinctive values that each channel represents. Disney content will continue to be family-oriented while XD will consist action-packed, “boy-focused” but “girl-inclusive” high-octane content.

“The vision for Disney XD was born after extensive research that we did with boys 6 – 14 in multiple markets around the world, and the findings have really helped us shape Disney XD's brand vision,” says Malhotra. “It has also helped the programmers understand what boys' core values and aspirations are, and how they can be translated into compelling entertainment for this demographic.”

The broadcaster is also proud to claim the new actionpacked channel as the home of Marvel characters, featuring superheroes such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor – with links to Marvel characters on the big screen to boot. To coincide with the May 2013 cinematic release of the Marvel feature film Iron Man 3 (which Malhotra says will eventually premiere on Disney XD), the channel will premiere Iron Man 1 and 2 on XD as complimentary programming.

The channel also features original Disney XD series including the martial arts comedy Kickin' It, turbo-charged animated series Motorcity and the fun animated series Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil, plus the hugely popular 2D-animated comedy Phineas & Ferb.

Joining Malhotra at the launch event is newly appointed VP of StarHub's Media Business Unit, Soo Hui Lee.

“The launch of Disney XD is an extension of the longstanding relationship between StarHub and Disney. We first introduced Disney to Singapore viewers when we added Disney Channel to our pay-TV line-up in 2000. We are excited to be the first to bring Disney XD to Singapore. In line with StarHub's constant efforts to add flexibility to the enjoyment of content, our customers can also take Disney XD with them wherever they go via their laptops or tablets with our multi-screen platform, TV Anywhere,” says Lee.

To support multi-screen delivery, Disney XD, along with Disney Junior, is also available on StarHub's TV Anywhere via starhubtvanywhere.com, which allows customers to watch their favourite TV channels on their subscription plan on personal devices such as PC, Mac, iPad or tablet. Additionally, an on-demand service called Disney On Demand – a catch-up channel offering content from Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD as well as regular special content and stunts, also launched on StarHub TV.

Malhotra feels such multi-platform offerings are especially essential for reaching out to the channel's target audience. “Think of this: the first iPhone was launched six years ago. The first iPad was launched just over three years ago. But if you talk to parents who have tweens, they act like their kids have been using this technology since they were born even though it has just come out. Kids want to take their TV anywhere today and Disney was one of the first companies to recognise this because it's so important for Natasha Malhotra us to stay connected to our audience.”

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