The Walt Disney Company India
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryMedia conglomerate
FoundedAugust 1993; 29 years ago (1993-08) (as a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and Modi Enterprises)
Headquarters
Area served
India
Key people
  • K Madhavan (President, The Walt Disney Company India and Disney Star)
Kevin Vaz (CEO) Regional Entertainment, Infotainment and Kids
ParentDisney Entertainment
Divisions
  • Disney India Consumer Products
  • Disney India Interactive
SubsidiariesDisney Star
Websitedisney.in

The Walt Disney Company India Private Limited, known simply as Disney India, is the Indian subsidiary of the Indo Pacific region of the American media and entertainment conglomerate The Walt Disney Company and headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

In March 2019, after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, which included Indian TV giant Star India, Disney India became India's biggest television broadcaster.[1]

History

Joint venture

Walt Disney India was formed in August 1993 with a licensing agreement as a joint venture partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Modi Enterprises. Disney filed in October 2001 with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to create a wholly owned subsidiary company to launch the Disney Channel in India. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion granted Disney an initial approval for the subsidiary but with Modi protesting because of similarities to their joint venture. When the 10 year licensing agreement ended, Modi and Disney could not come to a new agreement, thus ending the joint venture agreement in August 2003.[2]

Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific) took over distribution of content in September 2003 via Star Movies, AXN and HBO plus 29 hours of children's programmes per week via DD Metro, Eenadu, SET, Star Plus and Star World.[3]

Wholly owned subsidiary

The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited started operations in July 2004 based in Mumbai.[4] On 17 December 2004, Walt Disney Television International India launched the Disney Channel and Toon Disney channel with five language feeds (English, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil languages). The channels were to be distributed by the Star Group.[5][6][7] Disney India planned to focus initially on its channel operations before expanding in to other areas. In the long term, a Disney theme park in India is possible as land has been reportedly found on the outskirts of Delhi.[8] Also in December, with Indiagames as a partner, the Walt Disney Internet Group released Disney games, wallpapers and ringtones in the market which is also available on AirTel. In 2005, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) began working with various Indian retail outlets to establish Disney Corners within the outlets to sell licensed merchandise.[9] In August, Funskool India and Disney entered in a contract for Funskool to sell Disney Princess products in India.[10]

Disney India and Yash Raj Films agreed to co-produce and co-finance a yearly animated film for the India market in January 2007. Both companies would also work together on merchandising and games for the films.[11]

In July 2006, Disney India acquired a controlling stake in Hungama TV from UTV Software Communications Limited while also taking a 14.9% share in UTV.[12] In 2008, the company took an additional 17.5% share in UTV.[13]

On 26 September 2006, the Disney Jeans brand was launched under license to Indus Clothing, which planned to open 30 Disney Jean stores by the end of 2007.[14] In October, DCP franchised to Ravi Jaipuria Corporation the rights for five years to set up 150 Disney Artist brand stores and wholesale under the Disney Artist brand Disney character branded greeting cards, stationery, arts, crafts and party products in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives.[15]

Disney Publishing Worldwide, a division of Walt Disney India, announced a licensing agreement in April 2009 with local publisher Junior Diamond to publish Disney comic books, in both English and Hindi.[16] Jetix/Toon Disney was switched over in India to Disney XD on 14 November.[7]

In May 2011, Disney and UTV agreed to co-produce Disney branded family films with both handling creative function and UTV producing, marketing and distributing the films.[4] Walt Disney Company (South East Asia) Pvt Ltd. in July 2011 offered to purchase the public shareholders' stakes with approval given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for them to increase their ownership. In February 2012, Disney announced the completion of the acquisition of UTV with UTV Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Screwvala becoming Managing Director of TWDC India[17] replacing Mahesh Samat, who joined the company in 2007 from Johnson & Johnson.[18]

In October 2012, Disney launched Disney Junior India, an ad-free channel for preschool kids. Earlier it was a one and a half hour programming block on Disney Channel India.[19] Disney India launched its Live Entertainment operations in 2015 with the production of a Beauty and the Beast musical to be shown from October to December in Mumbai and Delhi.[20]

Disney India indicated in August 2016 that it was shutting down UTV Motion Pictures, its Hindi film production unit, and focusing only on distribution of its Hollywood films. Disney India managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur also indicated he would let his contract lapse on 1 January 2017.[21] On 28 November 2016, Mahesh Samat was to return as managing director, four years after he left the company.[18]

On 12 September 2017, Walt Disney International announced a restructuring of its business in Asia, and that Mahesh Samat is to lead the new Disney South Asia division, combining India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.[22]

On 5 October 2017, The Walt Disney Company India officially announced the launch of Disney International HD on 29 October 2017. The channel was to be the exclusive home to live action Disney Channel original content.[23] The channel will not have any animation content, and will be replacing Bindass Play.[24]

Disney launched its second HD channel UTV HD on 21 October 2018, showing Bollywood and Hollywood films in Hindi. It premieres a new movie every Friday.[25]

On 7 November 2017, Disney announced the promotion of Abhishek Maheshwari as country head for India. He was to report to Mahesh Samat, Walt Disney International South Asia managing director.[26] On 14 December 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which includes Star India.[27]

Consumers Products licensed DLF Brands for Disney & Me stores that opened in April 2018.[28] The Live Entertainment divisions' second musical, Aladdin, premiered on 20 April 2018.[29]

On 13 December 2018, Disney announced Uday Shankar, who serves as president of Fox Asia and chairman of the Star India, will lead Disney's Asian Pacific region and chairman of Disney India after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, including Star India closes.[30] On 1 April 2019, Uday Shankar, president Disney Asia Pacific, announced the restructuring of the complete entity of Star India and Disney, while Sanjay Gupta will lead the Indian businesses and head the Disney Studios India and Fox Star Studios in India, directly reporting to Uday Shankar who is also Chairman of Star and Disney India.[31] Gupta resigned as country head in November 2019, while UTV channels were merged into the Star India bouquet.[32]

Disney XD was replaced with Marvel HQ channel on 20 January 2019 at noon.[33] Star India networks took over distribution of Disney channels in July 2019. Disney Channel, Hungama TV, Marvel HQ and Disney Junior became part of Disney Kids Pack while Bindass and Disney International HD became part of Star Value Pack.[34] Later, in February 2020, Star Gold underwent a branding overhaul, while its sister channel Movies OK was replaced by Star Gold 2.

On 30 December 2020, Disney announced that the Star branding will be replaced with Utsav from 1 February in Netherlands.[35]

On 26 January 2022, Tata Sky was rebranded into Tata Play.[36]

Marvel HQ was replaced with Super Hungama channel on 1 March 2022.[37]

On 14 April 2022, The Walt Disney Company India rebranded Star India to Disney Star.[38]

On 27 May 2022, Fox Star Studios was renamed Star Studios, as part of the removal of the "Fox" name from the studios that had been acquired from 21st Century Fox by Disney.

Following a long-awaited restructuring paradigm, Disney announced plans to shut down the UTV brand, with UTV Movies, UTV HD and UTV Action being replaced respectively by Star Gold Romance, the HD feed of Star Gold 2 and Star Gold Thrills.[39]

Units

Current Units

Store Licencee Start Date Closed Date
Disney Corners Departments April 2005[9]
Disney Jeans Indus Clothing 26 September 2006[14]
Disney Artist Ravi Jaipuria Corporation 10 October 2006[15]
Disney & Me DLF Brands April 2018[28]
shopDisney 23 November 2020[40]

Former Units

Walt Disney Pictures India

Year Film Director Producer(s) Co-production Co. Notes Ref.
2008 Roadside Romeo Jugal Hansraj Aditya Chopra Animated Film
National Film Award for Best Animated Film[42]
Nominated- Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture[43]
[11][44]
2010 Do Dooni Chaar Habib Faisal Arindam Chaudhuri Planman Motion Pictures National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi[45] [46]
2011 Feluda: The Kathmandu Caper Tapaas Chakravarti distribution only
DQ Entertainment International
Animated TV Movie [47]
Anaganaga O Dheerudu Prakash Kovelamudi Prasad Devineni
Prakash Kovelamudi
Telugu film [48]
Zokkomon Satyajit Bhatkal [49]
2012 Arjun: The Warrior Prince Arnab Chaudhuri Ronnie Screwvala
Siddharth Roy Kapur
UTV Motion Pictures Animated Film
Nominated – Grand Prix at 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival[50]
[51]
Luck Luck Ki Baat Iqbal Khan Disney Channel India SOL Productions Television film
Remake of 2001 Disney Channel original movie The Luck of the Irish
[52]
2014 Khoobsurat Shashanka Ghosh Fawad Khan
  • UTV Motion Pictures
  • Anil Kapoor Film Company
[53]
2015 ABCD 2 Remo D'Souza Siddharth Roy Kapur UTV Motion Pictures Sequel to the 2013 film ABCD: Any Body Can Dance. [54]
2016 Apna Bhai Gaju Bhai Sandeep Patil and Aarsh Vohra Disney Channel India Toonz Animation Animated TV movie
based on Disney Channel's animated TV series Gaju Bhai
[55]
Dangal Nitesh Tiwari
Aamir Khan Productions
UTV Motion Pictures
Highest Grossing Indian film till date. [56]
2017 Jagga Jasoos Anurag Basu Anurag Basu
Ranbir Kapoor
Siddharth Roy Kapur
  • PictureShuru Entertainment
  • UTV Motion Pictures
  • Ishana Movies
[57]

Home Entertainment

The following Indian films were released under the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment banner.

Home Entertainment Release date Film International Title Original Theatrical Release date Production Company Notes Ref.
12 January 2010 Taare Zameen Par Like Stars on Earth 21 December 2007 Aamir Khan Productions and PVR Pictures [58]
26 July 2011 Anaganaga O Dheerudu Once Upon a Warrior 14 January 2011 Disney India, A Bellyful of Dreams Entertainment, Arka Media Works and Disney World Cinema Part of Disney World Cinema series [59]
Do Dooni Chaar Two Twos Are Four 8 October 2010 Disney India, Planman Motion Pictures and Disney World Cinema
Zokkomon Zokkomon 22 April 2011 Disney India and Disney World Cinema

Disney Live Entertainment

Musicals

On air channels

See also: List of Disney TV programming blocks § India

India

Channel Launched Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
Star Bharat 2017 Hindi General Entertainment SD+HD Formerly Star One and Life OK
Star Plus 1992
Star Utsav 2004 SD
Star Utsav Movies 2016 Movies
Star Gold 1999 SD+HD
Star Gold Select 2017
Star Gold 2 2020 Formerly Movies OK, UTV HD
Star Gold Romance 2023 SD Replaced UTV Movies
Star Gold Thrills Replaced UTV Action
Bindass 2007 Music
Star Sports 1 Hindi 2017 Sports SD+HD
Star Sports First SD
Disney International HD English General Entertainment HD
Star Movies 1991 Movies SD+HD
Star Movies Select 2015
Star Sports 1 1996 Sports
Star Sports 2 2013
Star Sports Select 1 2016
Star Sports Select 2
Star Sports 3 2018 SD
Hungama TV 2004 Hindi, Tamil, Telugu Kids
Disney Channel English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu SD+HD
Disney Junior 2012 SD
Super Hungama 2005 Formerly Toon Disney/ Jetix, Disney XD and Marvel HQ
National Geographic 1998 English, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali Infotainment SD+HD
Nat Geo Wild 2009
Fox Life 2008 Lifestyle
Star Jalsha 2008 Bengali General Entertainment
Star Jalsha Movies 2012 Movies
Star Pravah 2008 Marathi General Entertainment
Star Pravah Picture 2022 Movies
Star Kiran Odia General Entertainment
Star Suvarna 2016 Kannada
Star Suvarna Plus 2013 Movies SD
Star Sports 1 Kannada 2018 Sports
Asianet Plus 2005 Malayalam General Entertainment
Asianet 1993 SD+HD
Asianet Movies 2012 Movies
Star Vijay 1994 Tamil General Entertainment
Star Vijay Super 2016 Movies
Star Vijay Takkar 2022 Youth Entertainment SD Replaced Star Vijay Music
Star Sports 1 Tamil 2017 Sports SD+HD
Star Maa 2002 Telugu General Entertainment
Star Maa Movies 2011 Movies
Star Maa Gold 2012 SD
Star Maa Music 2008 Music
Star Sports 1 Telugu 2018 Sports SD+HD

International

Channel Launched Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
Star Life 2018 English General Entertainment SD+HD Africa Only
Utsav Plus 2021 Hindi UK and EU Only
Utsav Bharat SD
Utsav Gold Movies SD+HD
Asianet Middle East 2010 Malayalam General Entertainment SD Middle East Only

Upcoming channels

Channel Launch Date Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
Star Jalsha Josh TBA Bengali Youth

Entertainment

SD
Star Sports 1 Kannada HD Kannada Sports HD
Star Sports 3 HD English
Hungama HD Hindi, Tamil, Telugu Kids

Dissolved channels

Channel Launched Defunct Language Category SD/HD availability Notes
MTV 1991 1994 English Music SD Replaced by Channel V
Star One 2004 2011 Hindi General Entertainment Replaced by Life OK
Life OK 2011 2017 SD+HD Replaced by Star Bharat
Bindass Movies 2007 2010 Movies SD Replaced by UTV Action
UTV Movies 2008 2023 Replaced by Star Gold Romance
UTV Action 2010 Replaced by Star Gold Thrills
Movies OK 2012 2020 Replaced by Star Gold 2
UTV HD 2018 2023 HD Rebranded as Star Gold 2 HD
Channel V 1994 2018 Music SD Replaced by Star Sports 3
Bindass Play 2014 2017 Replaced by Disney International HD
UTV Stars 2011 2014 Lifestyle SD+HD Replaced By Bindass Play
Star News 1998 2012 News SD Rebranded as ABP News
Star World 1991 2023 English General Entertainment SD+HD
FX 2010 2017
Fox Crime 2010 2015 SD
Star World Premiere 2011 2023 HD
Star Movies Action 2013 2017 Movies SD formerly Fox Action Movies
UTV World Movies 2008 2014
Baby TV 2005 2023 Kids SD+HD
ESPN 1995 2013 Sports Rebranded as Star Sports 4
Star Cricket 2007 Replaced by Star Sports 3 ,

Star Sports 1 Hindi

UTVi Bloomerang 2008 2019 News SD Rebranded as BTVI
Nat Geo Music 2007 2019 Hindi, English Music SD+HD Replaced By Nat Geo Telugu
Nat Geo People 2014 Lifestyle Replaced By Nat Geo Tamil
Nat Geo Adventure 2007 2014 Infotainment Replaced with Nat Geo People
Star CJ Alive 2009 Shopping SD replaced as Shop CJ Alive
Star CJ Alive 2 2011 replaced as shop CJ Alive 2
Shop CJ Tamil 2017 Tamil
Shop CJ Telugu Telugu
UTV Action Telugu 2012 Movies
Asianet Suvarna 2007 2016 Kannada General Entertainment Rebranded as Star Suvarna
Star Sports 1 Bangla 2019 2023 Bengali Sports
Star Ananda 2005 2012 News Rebranded as ABP Ananda
Star Sports 1 Marathi 2019 2023 Marathi Sports
Star Majha 2007 2012 News Rebranded as ABP Majha
Star Vijay Music 2020 2022 Tamil Music Replaced by Star Vijay Takkar
Star Sports 4 2013 2017 Sports SD+HD Rebranded as Star Sports 1 Tamil
Nat Geo Tamil 2019 2020 Infotainment SD
Nat Geo Telugu Telugu
Star Sports 1 Malayalam Unlauched Malayalam Sports SD
Star Sports 1 Gujarati Gujarati

See also

Notes

References

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