Netflix Inks Deal With Disney Vet Nancy Kanter for Kids and Family Content

Netflix has entered a partnership with executive producer and former Disney exec Nancy Kanter and her Available Light Productions to develop and produce new original content for the service globally.

Kanter will develop and produce animated and live action projects, both feature films and series, for kids and families.

Kanter most recently served as EVP of content and creative strategy at Disney Channels Worldwide, and is a 20-year Disney veteran who established the Disney Junior brand, developing programming for the network and growing them into franchises, including the Peabody Award-winning “Doc McStuffins,” the Emmy Award-winning “Sofia the First,” the Emmy Award-nominated “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “The Owl House,” and other series “Elena of Avalor” and “Vampirina” for Disney Junior. She also shepherded “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “Monsters at Work,” “Secret Society of Second Born Royals” and the upcoming movies Spin and Sneakerella, all for Disney+.

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“Throughout my career I’ve challenged myself to think differently, imagine bigger and aim higher,” Kanter said in a statement. “I am delighted at this opportunity to partner with the innovative creators and executive team at Netflix who value those same aspirations, and I look forward to working with them to create new stories that will inspire the minds and touch the hearts of kids and families everywhere.”

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“We want Netflix to be the home of the world’s best storytellers and creative visionaries, and few embody that more than Nancy Kanter,” Melissa Cobb, Netflix VP of original animation, said in a statement. “She’s already made a lasting impact on a generation of kids — creating opportunities to see their lives on screen and inspiring them to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. We can’t wait for her to bring new stories to life at Netflix, and continue to entertain and inspire audiences around the world.”

Disney Moving All U.K. Kids TV Channels to Disney+

In the midst of a pay-TV carriage dispute with Comcast-owned satellite TV operator Sky in the United Kingdom, Disney announced it would shutter The Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior and move them to its branded subscription streaming service Disney+, effective Oct. 1.

Disney+ launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 24.

In a media statement, Disney said the direct-to-consumer service, which garnered more than 54.5 million subscribers worldwide in its first seven months, would premiere all the latest films, series and specials from the three Disney Channels, along with an expansive back catalog of Disney Channel titles in the U.K., including “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” Descendants 3 and “Phineas and Ferb.”

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The company was quick to stress the switch in the U.K. was not a global move — yet.

“The Walt Disney Company remains committed to our kids channels business and continues to execute distribution agreements for Disney channels in many markets where Disney+ is also available, with the goal of giving our fans multiple entry points to our storytelling,” Disney said.

While carriage disputes between content holders and linear TV operators are common, often resulting in temporary blackouts, before a new agreement is reached, this situation is different. It marks Disney’s willingness to upend the status quo. Media Networks business segment generated 35% of the company’s revenue and 44% of its operating income in 2019.

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“This represents a landmark moment,” Paolo Pescatore, TMT analyst at PP Foresight, said in a note. “The streaming revolution is gathering pace and cannot be ignored. The future is all about streaming and this latest move sets a benchmark for others to follow suit.”

Pescatore said the consolidation to Disney+ underscores the media giant’s move away from fragmentation and to better connect with new audiences and understand better their habits.

“All in one place still represents the Holy Grail for telcos,” the analyst wrote.