Disney UK TV services to end linear availability from October | VOD | News | Rapid TV News
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In an absolute clear indication of the direction of travel for the House of Mouse, Disney has announced that it is to close down its linear channels in the UK and instead offer them on the recently launched Disney+ direct-to-consumer service.
DIsney 13Nov2019
Since launch on 24 March, Disney+ has offered UK fans content from the company’s leading entertainment brands, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, as well as exclusive original programming including feature-length films, series, documentaries, and short-form content made exclusively for the service. Star attraction has been Star Wars live action drama series The Mandalorian.

The service has been a smash since launch in Europe and recent research from Omdia found that Disney+ is already the third largest subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) provider in the UK, behind Netflix and amazon Prime video, taking a 16.8% share of subscribers by the end of April. At this time Netflix and Amazon Prime Video claimed 58.4% and 46.9% of online subscribers in the UK respectively.

Assessing the popularity of Disney+ in the UK, Omdia said that it had benefitted from the Covid-19 lockdown as consumers sought new entertainment experiences to keep themselves entertained. It added that the current catalogue offered Disney+ had become increasingly alluring to viewers, given than the pandemic has halted production of new video content.

And boosting this catalogue further, from 1 October Disney+ will now be the exclusive UK home for its core UK TV services Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. This is said to have arisen due to the failure of Disney to come to satisfactory carriage agreements with UK pay-TV operators in particular Sky and Virgin Media. The DTVC service will also premiere all the latest films, series and specials from the three channels, along with back catalogue of Disney Channel titles in the UK.