Disney Channel assumes hands on control in Brazil

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SAO PAULO--In line with its international strategy, Walt Disney Co. is seeking to assume greater management control in Brazil, which represents half its revenue in the region. The entertainment company has cancelled contracts with two representatives in the country, licensee Redibra and Abril Video, part of the Abril publishing group, taking control of an estimated $50 million licensee business.

As part of its local push, Walt Disney is planning to launch a Portal in Brazil as well as produce a movie in the country basedon one of the Disney characters inspired by the local parrot Ze Carioca. In addition, the company is planning a Portuguese-speaking version of the channel, currently being negotiated with local cable networks. The company has renewed the contract with local TV station SBT to transmit the program "Disney Club."

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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