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Disney Channel Hopes 'Camp' Rocks Ratings

Disney Channel, which averaged a cable record 3.1 million viewers during summer 2007, is hoping its much-ballyhooed Camp Rock original movie will propel the network's hot weather viewership fortunes.

Network parent Walt Disney Co. will give the movie an unprecedented multiplatform premiere this weekend. CampRock will debut June 20 on Disney Channel with a simultaneous audiocast on Radio Disney, followed by an airing on broadcast network ABC on June 21, then ABC Family the following night and finally on June 23.

Disney Channels Worldwide president Rich Ross said the additional plays outside of Disney Channel will provide greater exposure for the network. “I feel very strongly that we can take advantage of the multiplatform ownership that is part of (Disney-ABC Television Group),” he said.

Unlike Disney Channel which doesn't air commercials, ABC and ABC Family will air Disney Channel-approved commercial spots during CampRock, according to Disney officials. But the company could not provide a list of advertisers at press time.

As for ABC Family, Ross said Sunday night's airing will hopefully expose the channel's programming to ABC Family's older-skewing 18-49 target audience.

In return, ABC Family president Paul Lee said that Camp Rock will give ABC Family a chance to promote its summer shows, including new original series The Middleman.

Despite a massive two month on-air and online promotional buildup to the premiere — which included a glitzy red-carpet screening party in New York last week -- the movie will be hard-pressed to match the more than 17 million viewers the network's last big original movie, High School Musical 2, generated last August. The telepic was the most-watched show in cable history.

Disney's summer 2007 total was bolstered by the top three most watched summer shows: HSM2, Phineas and Ferb and a Hannah Montana episode — all of which ran last Aug. 17. This year, movies CampRock and Cheetah Girls One World, the third installment of the popular franchise, will carry the ratings torch for the network, according to Ross.