Disney Channels To Be Removed From Sky, BT & Virgin In The UK From September
Some unfortunate news for Disney fans… Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior will all be removed from Sky, BT and Virgin Media from September 2020 after the UK broadcast platforms fail to reach a new carriage agreement with the house of the mouse.
“From October 1st,?Disney+ will become the exclusive home for content from Disney Channel, DisneyXD and Disney Junior in the UK,” commented Disney in a statement. “The Walt Disney Company 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.”
So, it would appear this is about a deal making financial sense for all parties involved. With Disney+ now available in the UK, both independently and via Sky Q, the mouse house has a direct platform to customers. Globally, the service has over 54 million users, with around 2 million of those thought to be in the UK. It’s quite possible that the launch of Disney+ has cut into the number of viewers on the linear channels, making them less financially viable. There is also the issue of a global pandemic at the moment, which as decimated the advertising revenues across all media, and could have factored into the negotiation problems.
Content from all three of the channels does air on Disney+ already, however, it was usually older shows, with new series still premiering on the linear broadcast. Now those shows will premiere on Disney+ UK. Both National Geographic and FOX, which are both owned by Disney in the UK, will be staying on Sky and Virgin (for now at least).
Sky responded to the loss of the channels saying “We have over 5,000 episodes of on-demand content alongside our brilliant linear channels, from our partners Viacom and Turner, and we’re investing more in our own Sky kids originals, too, like Moominvalley and Morph. Kids can watch favourites like Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol, SpongeBob Squarepants and The Amazing World of Gumball, all the wonderful LEGO content and much, much more. And it is all available in one place – together with the best apps, like Disney+ and Netflix – on Sky Q.”
Sky still has deals in place with Disney to air some of their movies and to keep ‘The Simpsons’ premiering on Sky One, plus the deal to carry the Disney+ app on Sky Q.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.