International launch set for Disney+ streaming service

International launch set for Disney+ streaming service

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – The Walt Disney Company said on Monday (Aug 19) its streaming television service will debut in November in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Offering film and TV entertainment including its Star Wars and Marvel franchises as well as its ABC content and an extensive library acquired from 21st Century Fox, Disney+ hopes to be a major challenger to Netflix.

It will launch in Canada, Netherlands, and the US on November 12, and in Australia and New Zealand a week later, the company said, and is expected to expand to most major markets within the following two years.

The entertainment giant also announced deals for Disney+ to be available on Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku and Sony internet-linked devices.

Chief executive Bob Iger said during a recent earnings call the company would take advantage of its control of Hulu to bundle an ad-supported version of the streaming television service with Disney+ and ESPN in the US for a monthly subscription price of US$12.99 (S$18.01).

Iger said Disney was “focused on leveraging Fox’s vast library of great titles… for example reimagining ‘Home Alone,’ ‘Night at the Museum,’ ‘Cheaper by the Dozen,’ and ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ for a new generation on Disney+.” Former Fox superhero movie franchises including “X-Men,” “Fantastic 4” and “Deadpool” will now come under the Marvel umbrella, Iger said, adding that parent company Disney sees “great long-term value” in the titles.

The increasingly competitive TV streaming marketplace will soon feature HBO Max, Apple and NBCUniversal platforms as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Disney+ will launch at a subscription price of US$6.99 monthly in the US.

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