Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Disney launches its Disney+ in the United Kingdom and Western Europe during growing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic ; hopes its video streaming service 'can bring some much-needed moments of respite during these difficult times'.

by Thinus Ferreira

The Walt Disney Company rolled out its Disney+ subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service on Tuesday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Disney postponed the launch in France to 7 April 2020 at the request of that country's government because of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.

Disney is silent on when Disney+ might launch in South Africa or anywhere on the African continent, and the possibility of a platform tie-up with a pay-TV operator like MultiChoice's DStv.

Disney+ will make shows like The Mandalorian available when it launches today in the United Kingdom and across Western Europe although much of the excitement already passed and a lot of the content have already been pirated viewed globally by consumers elsewhere in the world who couldn't get access and pay for a Disney+ subscription.

"Launching in 7 markets simultaneously marks a new milestone for Disney+," says Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney direct-to-consumer and international, in a statement.

"As the streaming home for Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic, Disney+ delivers high-quality, optimistic storytelling that fans expect from our brands, now available broadly, conveniently, and permanently on Disney+."

"We humbly hope that this service can bring some much-needed moments of respite for families during these difficult times." 

Disney+ costs £5.99 (€6.99/ R123.48 ) per month, or £59.99 ( €69.99 /R 1236.66 )  for an annual subscription.

Disney+ in the UK and other Western Europe countries will carry 500 films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, 26 exclusive original movies and series, and thousands of television episodes, including 300 episodes of The Simpsons.

Disney partnered with multiple mobile phone operators and pay-TV services to have Disney+ reside on their services.

These include Sky in the UK (bundled with Sky Q) and Ireland as well as O2 (available as an add-on option and a 6-month free trial) in the UK, Canal+ in France, Deutsche Telekom in Germany (3-month to 6-month free trial), Telecom Italia Mobile in Italia (bundled with broadband packages), as well as Telefónica in Spain (bundled with Movistar packages).

Disney+ will launch in mid-2020 in Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal with no indication or communications about a possible launch frame for Africa or South Africa.