Disney’s kids channels will be taken off the air in the UK at the end of September. UK viewers can still watch these shows, but they’ll have to get Disney+.
After failing to negotiate deals with pay-TV platforms Sky and Virgin Media, Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior will be taken off the air. Disney’s other brands, Nat Geo and Fox, will continue to be available on broadcast television.
A spokesman for Disney said the company “remains committed to our kids channels business” and plans to “execute distribution agreements for Disney channels in many markets where Disney+ is also available.”
The news marks a significant change for Disney. The company seems to be shifting focus from traditional television to streaming. Earlier this month, Disney released Artemis Fowl straight to Disney+ when a theatrical release became impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (By our best estimates Artemis Fowl didn’t do very well, but that likely has more to do with it being a bad movie than its streaming release.)
What is Disney+?
Disney+ is a digital streaming platform similar to Netflix. Disney+ curates a collection of classic Disney films and shows as well as new original content. The platform gained over 50 million subscribers within seven months of its launch.
Prior to launching Disney+, the Walt Disney Company acquired several key media properties and partnerships. As a result, Disney+ also streams content from Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and National Geographic. The service can also be bundled with Hulu and ESPN+.
What else is on Disney+?
Disney’s acquisition of Marvel and Lucasfilm means Disney+ can produce original content for both the MCU and Star Wars. The first big Disney+ original series, The Mandalorian, has already proven to be a hit with Star Wars fans. Marvel fans can expect WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier among other upcoming releases.
Check out everything new coming to Disney+ in July here.
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