Mickey Headed to Russia

Mickey Mouse is taking a voyage across the ocean. Starting in 2009, the Disney Channel will be available for free on Russian television (although it will be on cable in bigger cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg).

The channel will be a partnership between the House of Mouse and Media-One Holdings Limited, which controls 86 television and radio stations in the country.

Disney, which has seen traffic to ESPN.com flatline, hopes bringing its signature channel to Russia (and China) will help arrest flagging sales. It is the first American channel with a full-time presence in the former communist country.