Dealing without Nickelodeon programming as it battles Viacom in a carriage dispute, DirecTV has made a counter-move with a deal to launch Disney Junior starting Saturday.
launched earlier this year, aimed at 2- to-7-year-olds.
Nick has been off DirecTV for several days as the satellite operator and Viacom are in a standoff regarding carriage payments.
Disney Junior will be a permanent addition to DirecTV’s basic package. For now, however, it might salve some parents frustrated by the Viacom dispute.
The blackout has given preschoolers visiting NickJr.com early exposure to how intense carriage disputes can get and the consequences. A dropdown full-screen ad greets them with a video suggesting DirecTV is depriving them of SpongeBob, Dora and “iCarly.” The same ad appears on Nick.com.
Original Disney Junior series include “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” “Doc McStuffins,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Little Einsteins.”
Disney Junior will now be in about 55 million homes and located next to the Disney Channel on DirecTV. Disney Junior began as a programming block in 2011 on the Disney Channel.
The network is available on Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Verizon and other outlets.