The Mouse House is undergoing an extreme makeover of its European TV operations, arguably becoming the first Hollywood studio to fully integrate its programming sales, channel carriage operations and new-media partnerships under one umbrella and one top executive.
This new edifice will be led by Tom Toumazis, whose title is executive vp and managing director of Disney-ABC International Television for Europe, the Mideast, Africa and Canada. Based out of London, he will continue to report to Ben Pyne, president of global distribution at Disney-ABC Worldwide Tele?vision & Disney Media Networks.
Essentially, the new entity will group the channels and program distribution teams and pool resources from the Disney Channel, ESPN and Disney-ABC International Television in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Although Disney does not break out its revenue from international TV deals, analysts reckon the haul from its overseas operations is $2.5 billion-$3 billion a year, boosted in recent sessions by strong license fees from such hit shows as "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Ugly Betty" as well as localized TV versions of "High School Musical" and ratings phenoms on Disney Channel abroad for "Hannah Montana." Toumazis' region accounts for about 70% of the overall foreign TV haul.