MUMBAI: UK pay TV service provider Sky and media conglomerate Disney are working together to create a new television channel, Sky Movies Disney.
The new channel will be the home of new and classic Disney and Disney/Pixar movies in the UK and Ireland.
This is the first time that Disney has been involved in a co-branded linear movie channel anywhere in the world. It is also the first time that viewers in the UK and Ireland will be able to watch all new blockbuster Disney-branded movies, as well as classics from the past, on one single channel.
The launch of Sky Movies Disney builds on Sky and Disney’s 24-year relationship in the UK and forms part of a new wide-ranging agreement between the two companies, covering further movies, and Disney Channels, across multiple platforms and devices.
Launching in time for Easter on 28 March 2013, Sky Movies Disney will show films like ‘Brave’ and ‘Wreck-It Ralph ‘in their first pay TV window. Future releases that will be available include ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’, ‘Monsters University’ and ‘The Lone Ranger’.
The new movies will be available on Sky Movies Disney from around six months after they have ended their run in cinemas and will be exclusive to Sky Movies for at least a year.
Alongside new releases, Sky Movies Disney will also offer a library of classic Disney films, including ‘Bambi’ and ‘Pinocchio’, as well as Disney/Pixar films such as ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Cars’ and ‘A Bug’s Life’. Live action titles such as ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’ and ‘National Treasure’ will also be available.
In addition to broadcasting in standard and high definition on the Sky Movies Disney channel, all of the new and classic movies will be available to view on demand and on the go.
Sky TV customers will be able to watch movies on the move with Sky Go, on their smartphone, tablet, laptop or MacBook. NOW TV, Sky’s new internet TV service, will also offer easy and flexible access to the Disney titles to customers who buy the Sky Movies monthly. Disney films available in 3D will be shown on the Sky 3D channel.
In addition to the launch of the new channel, the agreement gives Sky Movies the first subscription pay TV movie rights in the UK and Ireland to other titles distributed by Disney, including new movies from Lucasfilm, and also Marvel Studios features such as ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Avengers Assemble’, which will be broadcast across the Sky Movies portfolio of channels.
In addition to movies, the agreement covers Disney’s TV channels - Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior - which will continue to be made available to Sky customers, alongside a new HD version of Disney Junior, launching in April. All Disney-branded channels will also continue to be available on Sky Go across a range of internet-connected devices.
Additionally, Sky will launch a dedicated Disney section on its popular On Demand service, offering hundreds more hours of catch-up and library shows.
Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said, "The launch of Sky Movies Disney is great news for our customers and builds on the strong relationship that Sky and Disney have enjoyed for more than 20 years. We’re delighted that an entertainment company of Disney’s international stature has chosen to work with Sky on its first co-branded linear movie channel. This is a world-first collaboration that will excite millions of families and further strengthen our market-leading movies service."
Sky Movies director Ian Lewis said, “Disney’s movies are loved by all ages and generations, so we’re delighted to be bringing this new channel to millions of families at no extra cost. Sky Movies Disney will be the home of new and classic Disney and Disney/Pixar movies and will offer all new titles at least a year before other TV channels or subscription services. The combination of Disney’s fantastic movies and Sky’s award-winning innovation means that customers will have the chance to enjoy the very best of Disney on their own terms, whether that’s watching on demand, on the move or in 3D."
Disney president Europe, Middle East and Africa Diego Lerner said, "In launching these new initiatives, we are underlining Disney and Sky‘s shared goal: bringing high quality, creative entertainment to audiences in the UK and Ireland. The ways in which people watch TV and movies have changed immeasurably in the past 20 years, but consumers always seek out Disney‘s great stories and memorable characters."
Disney Europe, Middle East and Africa senior VP, GM, media distribution Catherine Powell said, "Through the launch of Sky Movies Disney, we will offer viewers our broadest range yet of popular current and classic Disney and Disney/Pixar films, featuring many of our much-loved stories and characters.
“Building on the strong performance of our movies and Disney channels in the UK and Ireland, this agreement will not only increase the range of Disney entertainment being made available, but also the devices and platforms that viewers will be able to enjoy them on."