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Disney+ inks multi-year UK deal with Sky


By John Glenday, Reporter

March 3, 2020 | 4 min read

Sky is cosying up to Disney+ with the signing of a multi-year deal to make the service available to purchase throughout the British Isles on the Sky Q platform before later expanding to Now TV.

Since its US launch four months ago Disney+ has won over 28.6 million subscribers

Since its US launch four months ago Disney+ has won over 28.6 million subscribers with shows like The Mandalorian

Reports in Variety suggest that Sky saw off stiff competition from BT and Virgin Media to draw Disney+ into its fold, following on from its successful partnership with Netflix.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky group chief executive, said: “We’ve built a strong partnership with Disney over three decades and we’re pleased that our customers in the UK and Ireland can continue to enjoy their world-class content – all in one place on Sky Q.

"This is a great start to what is set to be another stellar year for Sky – in 2020 we’ll launch new channels and genres, start building Sky Studios Elstree and we’ve got brilliant new and returning originals coming too.”

Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International, added: “We are delighted that Sky is selling the Disney+ service on their platform and, along with our other distribution partners, will deliver exceptional reach at launch.”

Since its US launch four months ago Disney+ has won over 28.6 million subscribers, with the frontline now set to shift to new markets in Western Europe and India later this month as the entertainment giant follows its roadmap to global domination.

Disney has been forced to open the spending taps to drum up interest in its nascent streaming service after reports last year suggested that 65% of the UK population were oblivious to its plans.

Paolo Pescatore, media analyst at PP Foresight, said: "This reinforces Sky’s desire to be a one-stop shop for households. This deal suggests an exclusive deal for a UK provider is still up for grabs. Highly likely that a mobile operator will secure this, mirroring Disney’s strategy in the US. Therefore, EE looks to be in prime position given its track record in securing key premium content partnerships.

"Ultimately, the arrival of another service further fragments the market for consumers. There are too many video streaming services chasing too little dosh. It is becoming more important to be able to access all of these and future services on one TV platform. Here lies the killer feature, universal access."

Disney+ will move forward under different management however after Disney chief executive Bob Iger confirmed his retirement with Bob Chapek lined up as his replacement.

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