‘The Walking Dead’ Catalog Coming to Star on Disney+

Disney has revealed that all 10 seasons of the popular zombie series “The Walking Dead” will begin streaming July 2 via Star+ on the Disney+ platform in the U.K. The 11th and final season of “Walking Dead,” which is based on comic books by Robert Kirkman and filmed outside Atlanta, is slated to launch in the U.K. Aug. 23.

In the U.S., “Walking Dead” airs on AMC Networks, while Netflix exclusively streams the series. Spin-off shows include “Fear the Walking Dead” and “The Walking Dead: World Beyond,” and the upcoming anthology “Tales of the Walking Dead.” There is also a slate of “Walking Dead” feature films in the works.

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Star+ was launched by Disney on Feb. 23 in Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore with the aim of offering mature, adult-oriented content from ABC Signature, 20th Television, FX, Freeform, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and Caravan Pictures to Disney+ subscribers. Additional territory launches are coming, including a separate standalone service in Latin America.

In the U.S., Disney distributes mature content, i.e. FX and FXX content, through its Hulu streaming platform — preferring to limit Disney+ content to family fare and branded PG movies.


Disney’s Star+ to Bow Aug. 31 in Latin America

Star+ will launch in Latin America on Aug. 31 as a standalone streaming service that will offer a full slate of ESPN content, including live events from the top leagues and sports shows; series, animated comedies, movies and documentaries; and regional and international original Star productions, including exclusive content, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution announced May 14.

“Star+ will offer a never-before-seen customized experience and will expand our connection with the different audiences,” Diego Lerner, president of The Walt Disney Company Latin America, said in a statement. The strength of the content, that will include all of ESPN, makes Star+ a unique and relevant offering with its own identity that will become a recognized digital service, independent from Disney+. Having said that, its arrival will represent a service that is complementary to Disney+ and it will consolidate The Walt Disney Company’s presence in Latin America’s streaming market. With Star+, we will also reinforce our constant commitment of over 20 years to develop, produce, and offer local content that represents the taste of consumers of the whole region, producing original content with well-known local production companies and talents, to tell stories that connect with Latin American audiences. We will do so through different genres, addressing original fiction stories, and social and historic themes that are relevant and of general interest.”

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The service will be available on Internet-connected devices and users can subscribe separately or as part of a bundled offer with Disney+.

The service includes exclusive premieres of general entertainment TV series and movies from The Walt Disney Company’s content studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, STAR Original Productions, National Geographic Original Productions and more, and the streaming service for live sports from ESPN. From dramas to comedies (including all seasons of “The Simpsons”) and thrillers for adults, Star+ also features exclusive original programming from the Star general entertainment brand, along with a collection of regional original productions from Latin America.

Disney Launches Star Streaming Brand Outside U.S.

As expected, subscription streaming platform Disney+ Feb. 23 launched the general entertainment Star brand in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe. In Singapore, “Disney+ with Star” became the first market to launch the new general entertainment streaming brand.

As part of the launch, Disney added new parental controls, including the ability to set limits on access to content for specific profiles based on content ratings and the ability to add a PIN to lock profiles with access to mature content.

“Disney+ with Star” will roll out later this year in Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, and in Latin America, the offering will launch as a separate streaming service, Star+.

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Star has its own dedicated page featuring a collection of general entertainment movies, TV shows, documentaries, and specials, along with Star-branded exclusive originals and local productions being created for the service.

Rebecca Campbell, chairman, International Operations and Direct-to-Consumer, The Walt Disney Company, said the addition of Star enhances the Disney+ brand value for consumers with the addition of movies and TV series for families, older teens, and adults, fueled by the acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

“Disney+ has touched the lives of nearly a hundred million people around the globe by providing a home for exceptional storytelling … and today’s launch of the Star-branded international general entertainment offering marks an exciting expansion for the service,” Campbell said in a statement.

The Star brand serves as home to movies and shows from Disney General Entertainment Content, including Disney Television Studios (ABC Signature and 20th Television), FX Productions, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures, among others. Star content offerings include TV series “Grey’s Anatomy,” “24,” “The X-Files,” “Lost,” “Family Guy,” FX’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner “Atlanta” by Donald Glover; ABC’s Emmy Award and Golden Globe-nominated comedy series “black-ish,” starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross; Shonda Rhimes’s legal drama “Scandal” and feminist comedy “Dollface,” created by Jordan Weiss. Movies include The Favourite and The Grand Budapest Hotel, along with classics Pretty WomanDie Hard 2The Devil Wears Prada and Moulin Rouge, among others.

Star also delivers originals from Disney Television Studios in International markets, with more than 35 first-run series set to premiere by the end of the first year. Titles now streaming in select markets include crime thriller “Big Sky” from David E. Kelley (“Big Little Lies,” “The Undoing”); “Love, Simon” spin-off series “Love, Victor” written by the film’s original writers Isaac Aptaker (“This Is Us”) and Elizabeth Berger (“This Is Us”) and adult animated sitcom “Solar Opposites,” co-created by Justin Roiland (“Rick & Morty”) and Mike McMahan (ex-writer’s assistant on “Rick & Morty”). Drama series “Helstrom,” executive produced by Paul Zbyszewski along with Karim Zreik and Jeph Loeb, also will be available at launch. Title accessibility will vary by region.

Star will also bring an array of locally produced originals in regions where available, with a slate already announced in Europe.

Disney Stock Hits Record High After Investor Day News Avalanche; 30% of Disney+ Subs Come From India

The morning after Walt Disney Co.’s epic Investor Day event, which saw every entertainment component of the media giant throw its support behind streaming video, i.e. Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Star, Wall Street responded, sending shares to a record high.

Disney’s stock was up about 14% in Dec. 11 midmorning trading at $176 per share as of 9 a.m. PST. The company now has a market cap of almost $314 billion.

Amid the avalanche of content news on the Dec. 10 event, Disney said it would raise Disney+ subscription pricing by $1 next March, in addition to increasing European pricing by €2 to €8. The company touted more than 137 million paid subscribers through Dec. 2 via Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.

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Notably, of the 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers, 30% (26.8 million) originate in India, where Disney owns and operates Disney Hotstar and pending Star and Star+ general entertainment streaming services. Disney+ Hotstar launched April 3 in India featuring live cricket matches — a national sport — in addition to more than 17,000 hours of content in seven languages.

“We are uniquely positioned for India because of the rapidly growing middle class and their purchasing power,” Rebecca Campbell, chairman of international operations and direct-to-consumer, said on the Investor Day webcast.

The Kardashians Joining Disney’s Streaming Video Party

On the heels of Disney’s marathon Dec. 10 Investor Day event that saw every entertainment component of the media giant pledge allegiance to streaming video, i.e. Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Star, reality-TV royalty the Kardashians couldn’t miss out on the opportunity.

“Excited to announce our new multiyear partnership with Hulu and Star and what’s to come in 2021,” tweeted matriarch Kris Jenner.

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While details remain scant on programming tie-ins, with Disney budgeting upwards of $9 billion in content spend on Disney+ alone in 2024 ($16 billion including ESPN+ and Hulu), Jenner undoubtedly sees news pathways back to the limelight after ending E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” earlier this year after 13 years. The show made Jenner, 65, and her large family household names, social influencers and collective billionaires.

Indeed, the same day of Jenner’s tweet, it was reported that the former wife of Olympian Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner and late O.J. Simpson lawyer Robert Kardashian, had become the first owner of the 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost in North America, reportedly priced at $332,500.