Sky has struck a non-exclusive deal to sell Disney+, the new streaming home of the Marvel, Star Wars and Disney brands, to its Sky Q and Now TV customers.
The service launches on March 24th with original new commissions including Star Wars series The Mandalorian plus High School Musical; The Musical, The Series and The World According to Jeff Goldblum, as well as a library of big screen hits.
Disney+ can also be bought direct and will be available to watch on a host of streaming devices, smart TVs and mobile devices.
Previous reports had suggested Sky was looking to secure an exclusive over the service, perhaps by being the only pay-TV provider able to charge its subscribers for the service as part of their wider package, leaving rivals such as Virgin Media and BT only able to host the app.
However the deal announced today appears to be far more limited and to leave room for other services to strike bundled billing deals with Disney.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Chief Executive, said: “We’ve built a strong partnership with Disney over three decades and we’re pleased that our customers in the UK and Ireland can continue to enjoy their world-class content – all in one place on Sky Q.
“This is a great start to what is set to be another stellar year for Sky – in 2020 we’ll launch new channels and genres, start building Sky Studios Elstree and we’ve got brilliant new and returning originals coming too.”
Kevin Mayer, Chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International, added: “We are delighted that Sky is selling the Disney+ service on their platform and, along with our other distribution partners, will deliver exceptional reach at launch.”
Paolo Pescatore, Tech, Media & Telco Analyst at PP Foresight, said today’s tie-up “reinforces Sky’s desire to be a one stop shop for households” following the firm’s deals to offer Netflix and BT Sport to its customers.
“There’s a lot of excitement ahead of Disney+ arrival. This will help drive awareness and initial subscriber adoption for the new video streaming service. Maintaining this will be a challenge.”
However he added that “this deal suggests an exclusive deal for a UK provider is still up for grabs,” suggesting that Disney would opt for a mobile partner and that the BT-owned EE “looks to be in prime position given its track record in securing key premium content partnerships.”
Sky says its “multi-year” deal with Disney also includes the first-pay window for 20th Century titles, meaning Sky Cinema customers will continue to enjoy movies such as Le Mans ’66 and Terminator: Dark Fate before those of rival services.