The Nordic region is to get its own version of the Disney Channel, following an agreement between Walt Disney Television International (WDTV-I) and Swedish giant Modern Times Group ( MTG).

The channel - the 21st of its kind worldwide - will launch in early 2003 on MTG's Viasat satellite platform. WDTV-I will distribute the Channels directly with cable operators in the Nordic region.

The deal also extends a pay-TV programming licensing deal between WDTV-I (through Buena Vista International Television) and MTG which includes titles including box office hit Pearl H and K-Pax.

Hans-Holger Albrecht, president and chief executive of MTG, said: "The addition of the world famous Disney channel gives Viasat viewers unique access to some of the world's most popular entertainment programming." The channel's children's and family entertainment line-up, includes classic animation movies such as Tarzan, Snow White and Mulan, live-action and animated series, and creative shows like Art Attack and Playhouse Disney.

"We have a series of well-established, popular television shows on a number of TV stations in the region, and launching the Disney Channel was the next logical step," said David Hulbert, WDTV-I president.