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Disney's New Best Franchise: The Jonas Brothers

Jonas Brothers
Source: jonasbrothers.com
Jonas Brothers

Disney has shown that its strategy of inexpensively building a franchise on its Disney Channel to exploit across all platforms is pure gold.

The company did it with "High School Musical," the runaway hit made-for-Disney Channel TV movie: its soundtrack was the best-selling album in the U.S. in 2006 and a feature film is in the works. They did it again with Miley Cyrus' Hannah Montana character, going from Disney Channel TV show, to 3-D theatrical release, with seemingly endless consumer products.

Now Disney is doing it again with the Jonas Brothers. That's the heartthrob trio that's just wrapping up their "Look Me in the Eyes" tour that will be documented on a short-form Disney Channel show this spring, "Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream."

They have a Disney channel show called "J.O.N.A.S." about rock stars who are undercover spies. And today the Disney-ABC Television Group announced its plan to roll out it's film "Camp Rock" in June.

In an unprecedented move, Disney is debuting the Jonas Bros. "Camp Rock," across a number of platforms over the same weekend. Camp Rock will premiere on the ABC network, as well as ABC Family, the Disney Channel, Radio Disney and Disney.com the weekend of June 20th.

This shows that Disney and ABC know that the Jonas Brothers are so huge they can profit from the brand not just on the cable channel, but on the mainstream network.

And releasing online and on TV at the same time? That tells me that the company has a sufficient strategy for monetizing online viewership that it's not worried about its web site cannibalizing its TV viewership. These are all just revenue streams for the increasingly-digital company. Right now about $1 billion of Disney's revenues come from online-- and Disney CEO Bob Iger said as recently as three weeks ago that that'll be an increasingly important revenue stream moving forward.

Iger has said he's not concerned about competition from the likes of Google and Yahoo . And it makes sense to me as Disney's got the content. If the company can keep churning out franchises like the Jonas Brothers, that gives the company the silver bullet to winning eyeballs and ad dollars online. It's all about the content.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.