DISNEY'S STREAMING SERVICE Disney+ finally has a European launch date.
The Netflix rival offers content from across its portfolio, including Disney, ABC, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Touchstone. Other services owned, or part-owned by Disney such as Vice and A&E are not part of the deal.
It launches in the US later this month, but in Blighty, we'll have to wait four months - the service reaches our shores from 31st March 2020. That means if you know any Star Wars fans in the US, you'll have to snub them, lest you get the entire plot of The Mandalorian spoilt for you.
Disney made the announcement as part of its earnings call, on the same day that over this side of the pond, the great homegrown streaming hope Britbox launched on UK soil for the first time, two years after its US/Canada debut.
Disney+ has a broad reach, as Disney tries to shake off its "for kids" reputation in favour of a more family-friendly image. To that end, expect a lot of blockbuster movies from Disney's portfolio - weird as it sounds you may end up with Pulp Fiction sitting alongside the new live-action Lady and the Tramp (presumably using genetically modified dogs).
But don't assume that all the goodies that the US is getting will be the same in every country; rights to programming are always arranged on a country-by-country basis, and although Disney has been ending rights with existing services over the last few years, many are ‘grandfathered' in for a while yet.
Disney+ is one of the great streaming hopes for 2020, in an increasingly crowded field stretching from the obvious (Netflix) to the nauseating (HeyU) to the upstarts (Rakuten, Chilli).
It's not currently known what platforms will carry Disney+. Potential Britbox customers are facing the problem that many of the biggest sources for streaming tv are yet to sign a deal with the fledgeling service. μ
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