Disney Channel is a Latin American pay television network broadcasting throughout Latin America and the Caribbean region. It was officially launched in 2000 as a premium-label channel and it became a basic pay-TV network in 2004.
It is available using five different feeds, each with different programming schedules and timings. It is mostly marketed to children; however, in recent years the diversity of viewers has expanded to include an older audience. Disney Channel is operated by Disney & ESPN Media Networks Latin America and The Walt Disney Company Latin America, both of which are owned by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS).
In 2000, while Disney Channel in the United States changed its "premium television" label to "basic" subscription TV network, the channel was launched in Latin America using the same graphical branding as Disney Channel in Europe but with the same programming as the US version. In the beginning, the network's broadcast was divided in two feeds": North feed, aimed towards Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and South feed, aimed towards South America (excluding Brazil), each with different programming schedules. Disney Channel also launched its first original production, Zapping Zone, with hosts bringing news and introducing the Disney Channel Original Series to the audience.
On April 5, 2001, a Brazilian feed was launched. During that time, Disney Channel Latin America adopted a new logo and idents created by GÉDÉON, also employed in Europe. In 2004, Anne Sweeney, a veteran cable executive, took control of Disney–ABC Television Group and changed the design from the channels worldwide. On that same year, Disney Channel became a "basic" cable channel and used the 2002 look of Disney Channel US. Along with the new look, the channel started to air new series, mainly focused on teenagers and placing the original animated cartoons in earlier schedules. In the morning schedule, Playhouse Disney was aired with programming for children aged 2–6.
In 2005, the network became one of the most viewed channels in the region, premiering Disney Channel Original Series such as That's So Raven and Phil of the Future.
A fourth feed, known as the Central feed, was created and was broadcast on Colombia, Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean, broadcasting from Colombia and using the Colombian timezone.
In 2006, very successful series and films such as Hannah Montana, The Cheetah Girls, High School Musical and Jump In! premiered.
In 2007, the channel rebranded its graphical package to a more "hip" look, using the "Ribbon" branding of the US Disney Channel.
On June 1, 2008, The Walt Disney Company Latin America launched Playhouse Disney, a preschool-oriented channel focused solely on programming for young children aged 2 to 6. The Playhouse Disney-branded block in the morning was still broadcast in the same schedule until 2012. In 2008, Disney Mobile was re-branded as Disney Mobile Studios, which created content for cellphones. On October 1, 2008, Disney Channel launched its fifth feed, the Pacific feed, aimed at Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia and employed the Chilean timezone. In that same date, the network renewed schedules, idents and promos in all of its feeds. On August 20, 2010, a new logo was introduced. On December 2, 2012, Disney Channel Latin America launched its own HD channel, simulcasting the Central feed.
On July 28, 2014, Disney Channel rebranded its graphical package with the new look unveiled in Germany on January 17, 2014 and in the United States on May 23, 2014.
In 2016, Disney Channel HD turns into an independent channel with its own schedules, with promos now using three timezones (Mexico, Colombia and Argentina times). However, in 2019, all feeds launch their HD simulcasts, with the original HD channel turning into a high-definition simulcast of the Central feed again.