Disney to Launch Family TV Channel in Russia

Disney will acquire a 49 percent stake in UTH Russia’s Seven TV network and rebrand it for the Mouse House

Disney is saying "da" to Russia.

The company is partnering with UTA Russia to launch a Disney Channel in that country, it announced Thursay.

The channel, which will be advertiser supported and free-to-air, will feature Disney programming and original content. It expects to reach 40 million households — 75 percent of the Russian audience.

Disney's new channel will be broadcast in 54 markets, including Moscow and St. Petersburg and in hundreds of smaller cities and towns.

"International expansion is a key strategic priority for our company and Disney Channel has proven to be invaluable in building the Disney brand around the world," Disney president and CEO Robert Iger said in a written statement.

As part of the deal, Disney will acquire a 49 percent stake in UTH Russia's Seven TV network, which will then be rebranded as Disney. The deal is subject to regulatory filings and other conditions.

Disney Channels Worldwide is made up of 100 channels broadcasting in 35 languages and reaching 325 million households.