Disney has decided to discontinue its three linear TV channels in the U.K. beginning this fall, shifting its content to Disney+.
From 1 October, Disney+ UK will be the exclusive and only destination for content from Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior, the company announced yesterday, 25 June.
Commenting on this, Disney told The Hollywood Reporter, “The direct-to-consumer service, which garnered more than 54.5 million subscribers worldwide in its first seven months, will now premiere all the latest films, series and specials from the three Disney Channels, along with offering a rich and expansive back catalogue of Disney Channel titles in the U.K., including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Descendants 3 and Phineas and Ferb.”
Recently, Disney closed its TV channels in Singapore making way for the streaming service and has also started hiring for executive positions there.
The House of Mouse added, “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. ”
A spokesperson for pay TV giant Sky U.K., which earlier this year signed a distribution deal for Disney+ noted, “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 favorites 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 premium pay TV service Sky Q.”
Disney is clearly focusing on building a streaming empire, where the entertainment giant will be able to retain a higher percent of the revenue through direct signups than with linear television in markets like the UK.
PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore stated the U.K. news “a landmark moment.” He noted, “The streaming revolution is gathering pace and cannot be ignored. The future is all about streaming and this latest move sets a benchmark for others to follow suit.”