Disney+ has its eye to the Sky

The streamer is launching in the UK and Ireland through a carriage deal with Sky that also includes first-window rights to 20th Century titles.
March 3, 2020

Disney has signed a multi-year carriage deal with UK broadcaster Sky to launch Disney+ in the UK and Ireland via subscription-based TV service Sky Q, and VOD service NOW TV in the coming months. The new deal also includes first-pay window rights for 20th Century titles, including Terminator: Dark Fate, which will be available on Sky Cinema.

The SVOD’s initial launch was last November in the US, and this partnership marks Disney+’s second distribution deal in Europe, following its agreement announced late last year with Canal+ to launch in France. The SVOD is available in Canada, the US, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and will launch in Germany, Italy and Spain this month, according to Disney’s Q4 earnings call. Unlike the straight-forward direct-to-consumer launches of Disney+ in some of these territories, this deal with Sky means the broadcaster will also carry the SVOD service, and make it available for purchase to its customers.

Aiming to give Netflix a run for its money in Europe, Disney recently hired former Sky UK CMO Luke Bradley-Jones as SVP of direct-to-consumer and GM of the streamer in Europe and Africa. It has also been beefing up its catalogue with European titles, including adventure competition show The Maze, Cyber Group Studio’s animated series Gigantosaurus, BBC Studio’s animated preschool series Bluey (pictured) and Xilam Animation’s Chip ‘n’ Dale reboot. To draw more eyes, the platform has also been upping its unscripted lineup with a number of new titles, and is looking for mid-budget film projects to add to its slate.


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