Disney to Shut Down All Kids Channels in the UK, Content Will Be Exclusively on Disney Plus
After failing to reach carriage agreements with pay-TV platforms Sky and Virgin Media, Disney is shutting down all kids channels in the UK. Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior will be removed from the air at the end of September, and all content will be available only on Disney+, according to Deadline. Other Disney brands, including Nat Geo and Fox, however, will remain on linear television.
“From October 1st, Disney+ will become the exclusive home for content from Disney Channel, DisneyXD and Disney Junior in the UK,” a spokesperson for Disney stated. “Walt Disney Company remains committed to our kids channels business.”
The news comes days after it was announced the streaming service is well on its way to launch in eight more European countries in the fall. The streamer is slated to make its debut in Portugal, Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Denmark on September 15.
At launch, Disney+ will have original titles, including “The Mandalorian,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” “Togo,” “Encore!,” “Diary of a Future President” and “The Imagineering Story.”
Disney+ launched in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland on March 24. In the UK, Disney+ costs £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year (~£4.99). Throughout Europe (Spain, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and France), the service costs €6.99 per month or €69.99 per year (~5.83€).
After a slight delay, the service also launched in India on April 3. The streaming service was supposed to launch on March 29 in collaboration with Hotstar, an Indian streaming service. The launch was to coincide with the start of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) cricket tournament — a huge audience puller for the service. However, the season was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns and affected the launch of Disney+ as well.