Disney+ to become exclusive Disney Channels home in UK as Sky & Virgin deal ends
Streaming service Disney+ is to become the exclusive home of programming from Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior in the UK after pay operators Sky and Virgin Media failed to strike a carriage deal for the kids networks.
Disney+, which revealed its launch date in numerous European territories earlier this week, launched in the UK on 24 March and is reportedly already the country’s third biggest SVOD. It has already captured more than 50 million subscribers worldwide.
Sky and Virgin had both previously offered a raft of Disney’s kids programming through the trio of channels but the Mouse House has confirmed that from 1 October, Disney+ “will become the exclusive home for content from Disney Channel, DisneyXD and Disney Junior in the UK.”
Disney, whose VP of kids programming for the UK, Europe and Africa left earlier this month, will still offer some of its networks via the pay operators, with National Geographic and Fox remaining on Sky and Virgin services.
Existing shows on Disney’s channels will also be available via the Disney+ app, which is accessible through Sky’s service for an additional charge.
The move underlines Disney’s focus on its hugely popular and recently launched streaming service, but the Mouse House added that it would continue to work with linear partners where possible.
The company said that it “remains committed to our kids channels business and continues to execute distribution agreements for Disney channels in many markets where Disney+ is also available, with the goal of giving our fans multiple entry points to our storytelling.”
UK trade Broadcast broke the news.