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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
Disney plans Freeview TV channel
Disney has media interests around the world
Media giant Disney is planning to launch a UK entertainment TV channel to run on the Freeview digital platform.

The unnamed channel, which will not feature Disney branding, will have a mix of programming to compete with the BBC, ITV and BskyB.

Disney says it plans to unveil its latest TV channel in the winter. The BBC-backed Freeview is a non-subscription based service offering up to 30 TV channels and 21 radio channels to those with set-top boxes.

Nearly a year after it filled the void left by the collapsed ITV Digital, more than two million homes now have access to Freeview.

But it has a long way to go to beat Sky Digital's seven million subscribers, who pay to access different packages including sport and film.

BskyB has recently announced it is planning its own entertainment channel for Freeview.

Called Channel 6, it would have a 200m budget to offer a mix of programmes including US imports.

BskyB already has three channels on Freeview: Sky Travel, Sky News and Sky Sports News.

Disney already has media interests in the UK, including four children's satellite channels, a 25% stake in breakfast television channel GMTV and a partnership with Capital Radio.

The BBC has just signed a deal with Disney for the terrestrial rights to blockbuster movies including Pirates of the Caribbean, Calendar Girls and Chicago.

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