NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Walt Disney Co., in its first bid to challenge the dominance of Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon over children's television programming, is completing plans for a cable network focused on educational shows, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Programming specifics and a launch date have yet to be determined, but all signs indicate that Disney is committed to creating a network that captures the attention of preschoolers and children by day and teens and young adults by night, the paper said
Burbank, Calif.-based Disney has tentatively named the network "ABZ," although those familiar with the details said the Disney brand name may also be used.
The ABZ project is being directed by Disney/ABC Cable Networks president Geraldine Laybourne, who is known for turning Nickelodeon into a household name. Laybourne joined Disney after it acquired Capital Cities/ABC Inc. in 1995.
Disney has brought the developing idea to several cable operators, including Time Warner Inc., the nation's second-largest.
"We've had conversations with Disney," a Time Warner executive was quoted as saying in the Journal. "They've told us they are in process of developing. We've seen no formal presentation yet, but we're interested to see more."