Disney+ is to become the exclusive home of content from Disney after it failed to reach agreement over the continued carriage of its linear channels with either Sky or Virgin.
Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior will close in September with their content transferring to the newly launched streaming service.
“From 1 October, Disney+ will become the exclusive home for content from Disney Channel, DisneyXD and Disney Junior in the UK,” said Disney in a statement.
The direct-to-consumer service has secured 54 million subscribers since its launch in March. It’s available through the Sky Q platform, but unlike the Disney Channels that were part of Sky’s basic packages, Disney+ can only be viewed on payment of a £5.99 monthly supplement.
Disney was famously touted as one of six Sky channels when the platform made its debut in 1989. However, it wasn’t until October 1995 that Disney Channel actually made its first appearance in the UK market.
Enders Analysis said it wasn’t surprised that Sky and Virgin had felt confident enough to walk away from the negotiations given the poor performance of the Disney branded channels compared to the other kids channels in the market. However, the consultancy raised concerns that the channels has closed before their time as up. “Disney+ is doing well, however it is a pit of foregone revenues, while the recent performance of Disney channels raises questions as to the value of some of Disney’s non-film IP.”