The Walt Disney Co.'s $4 billion play for superhero factory Marvel Entertainment may have been mostly skewed toward the strength of its film studio — which has had recent blockbuster hits like Iron Man, X-Men and Spider-Man 3 — but the deal also provides more raw material for its Disney XD cable network.
On a conference call with analysts Aug. 31, Disney CEO Robert Iger said that the two companies are still working out the particulars of the merger, but that Disney XD — the recently rebranded Toon Disney — represents one of the biggest opportunities for the merger. Iger said Disney XD currently airs about 20 hours per week of Marvel character productions and that could expand both domestically and internationally.
Disney rebranded Toon Disney as Disney XD in February in an effort to attract a young male audience. That demographic also happens to be Marvel's biggest audience.