The Walt Disney Co. plans to launch a cable TV channel for pre-schoolers in the U.S. early next year, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Aimed kids two to five years old, Playhouse Disney will spin off from the programming block with the same name currently on the Disney Channel.
Taking a page from PBS, Disney is looking to offer advertisers sponsorships instead of running ads, but hasn't settled on a format yet. The Disney Channel is reportedly also exploring sponsorships. Disney didn't comment on start-up costs for the cable channel, generally thought to be in the $35 million to $50 million range.
Playhouse Disney launched in 1999 and its shows have gathered their own marketing momentum since, with the sales of plush toys and
other merchandise based on their characters. A radio edition of Playhouse Disney launched in February.