Disney’s over-the-top video ecosystem is about to get larger with the scheduled Feb. 23 launch of Star within the Disney+ platform. The free AVOD tier will offer thousands of hours of movies and television programming from the company’s multiple studios, including content from the 21st Century Fox acquisition, i.e. FX, Searchlight, and 20th Century Studios, along with Star-branded exclusive originals and local programming, tailored to specific markets.
Star Plus is bowing in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, with an additional rollout slated for Latin America in June.
Disney acquired the India-based Star brand through the Fox deal, which includes existing streaming service Hotstar. The latter includes exclusive access to Indian Premier League professional cricket, a national pastime. Hotstar is responsible for 30% of Disney+’s 94.9 million global subscribers.
Disney+ features exclusive and catalog content from Disney, Marvel (“WandaVision”), Pixar (Soul), Star Wars (“The Mandalorian” and upcoming “The Book of Boba Fett” and “Andor” series) and National Geographic.
“Star will be integrated into Disney+, as a distinct sixth brand tile,” CEO Bob Chapek said on the Feb. 11 fiscal webcast. “And will offer easy to use parental controls to manage access to the content.”
The platform looks to expand Disney’s OTT base of 146 million subs, which includes Disney Plus, Hulu, Hulu with Live TV and ESPN+.
“We’re less than two weeks away from launch and we’re seeing tremendous excitement amongst consumers,”Chapek said.