NOW TV viewers will soon be able to enjoy shows and movies from the Disney+ subscription service on their existing hardware. The Sky-owned service has managed to strike a deal with the House of Mouse to include both the traditional Sky Q satellite service as well as the contract-free NOW TV streaming option. However, there is a catch.
While Sky Q customers will be able to tune in to a raft of exclusive Disney+ shows as soon as the service launches in the UK on March 24 those on NOW TV could face a much longer wait. Parent company Sky hasn’t revealed when customers who subscribe to its NOW TV side project will be able to access Disney+ shows like The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Show, and The World According To Jeff Goldblum.
The only hint is that NOW TV support will arrive “in the coming months” …so hopefully in time for The Mandalorian season two, which is due to land in October 2020?
There’s no word on how the Disney+ will work on Sky Q, but it seems likely Sky will treat the subscription service in the same way that it currently manages Netflix. The video on-demand service has its own app, but is also deeply integrated into the core search functionality – so you’ll be able to see when a title is available on the Sky Store and as part of your Netflix subscription.
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Whether the Netflix-style integration also extends to adding Disney+ directly to your monthly Sky bill remains to be seen. On NOW TV, we’d imagine the House of Mouse’s streaming catalogue will be a separate contract-free “Pass” that you can buy at any time to get a month of viewing. Sky currently offers its own Sky Cinema, Sky Sports and Entertainment TV channels on this basis. Reality TV streaming service Hayu is also available on NOW TV.
Disney is currently trying to drum-up subscribers for its Netflix rival by offering a £10 discount on annual subscriptions. From today to March 23, Disney fans will be able to sign-up for a year of the streaming service for £49.99 …but whether this will work on your Sky Q or NOW TV boxes remains to be seen.
Clearly, there are a number of questions still lingering. But those with Sky or NOW TV kit in the house will be pleased to learn they won’t have to free-up another HDMI plug around the back of the telly for a new set-top box dedicated to Disney+.
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Speaking about the news Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky, 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.”
Going forward, Disney+ will be the on-demand home of new films and shows from the House Of Mouse. So, don’t expect Black Widow or any of the upcoming slate of Marvel films to launch on Netflix or Prime Video over Disney+ anytime soon.
Disney+ will be available on a wide range of devices at launch, including Samsung Smart TVs, video game consoles, iPhone, Android, and tablets. On March 24, Disney+ will launch in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. Additional European markets, including Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal, will follow sometime in summer 2020.
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