Disney+ Eyeing Pay-TV Partnerships

Taking a page from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and wholly-owned subsidiary Hulu, Disney is reportedly seeking partnerships with foreign pay-TV operators for its branded subscription streaming video platform, Disney+.

Disney, unlike Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video, has existing pay-TV distribution for branded properties such as Disney Channel. As a result, the company is targeting regions where its SVOD service won’t cannibalize ongoing relationships.

Disney is in talks with Spain’s top pay-TV distributors ahead of its March 31, 2020 launch in Europe, according to El Español. The service would either partnership with existing distribution or launch as a standalone service — the latter fraught with challenges due to widespread piracy in the region.

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Regardeless, Netflix significantly expanded its domestic reach when it reached a distribution deal with Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator.

The deal added incremental domestic subs for Netflix while greatly expanding Comcast’s broadband sub base. The cabler is one of the country’s largest ISPs.

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The company added 1.35 million broadband customers in 2019, underscoring the ongoing appeal of over-the-top video as consumers stream movies and TV shows in their home.  The broadband sub growth has helped offset pay-TV sub losses.

Kagan, a unit of S&P Global Intelligence, predicts that broadband-only homes will make up a third of all U.S. households by 2023, as reported by The Washington Post.

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