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Disney to debut new show on tablets first, cable second

Detailed by the New York Times recently, Disney is taking a new approach to content delivery by focusing on mobile devices first before rolling out episodes of a new television program on the Disney Channel. Starting on November 24, the first nine episodes of a new show called Sheriff Callie’s Wild West will be available for viewing through the Watch Disney Junior mobile app. However, the show won’t debut on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior stations until early 2014. This provides an exclusive segment of content for kids that have access to their parent’s tablets. 

Disney Channels iPadResponsible for over 650 million video views, the Watch Disney Junior app has transitioned devices like the iPad into a second screen for kids. Rather than keeping the Disney Channel on the television constantly, parents can regain control of the big screen while young kids watch programming on the tablet.

According to a study commissioned by Disney, more than 50 percent of American households with children also have a tablet in the home, hence the reasoning behind the trial run with Sheriff Callie’s Wild West.

When asked about switching up the order of content delivery for the new show, Disney Junior Worldwide general manager Nancy Kanter said “This is an entirely new approach for us. We have been amazed at how quickly kids have embraced this new technology. We’re talking billions of minutes spent watching.” However, the new show isn’t free for anyone that simply downloads the app. Parents will need to enter information relevant to their premium cable or satellite subscriber account in order to unlock access to the nine episodes. 

Beyond the first nine episodes, Disney hasn’t indicated if episodes will continue to roll out to the Watch Disney Junior mobile app prior to the air date on the Disney Channel. The show has been given a full 24-episode run, thus it’s possible all new episodes beyond the original nine will air on the two stations prior to becoming available within the mobile application.

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