Disney, Sky Extend U.K. Film Output, TV Networks Carriage Deal

Star Wars Force Awakens John Boyega H 2014
Walt Disney Studios

Star Wars Force Awakens John Boyega H 2014

Keeping Disney output amid competition with Netflix and Amazon, Sky will have the premieres of such movies as 'Inside Out' and 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in the first pay TV window in the U.K. and Ireland.

European pay TV giant Sky said Monday it has struck a new multiyear movie and TV content agreement with Disney U.K. & Ireland.

The deal extends the companies' long relationship, which they last extended in 2013, strengthening the film and content offerings of what was then known as BSkyB in the face of competition from Netflix and, more recently, Amazon. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Sky said the deal will ensure that its customers can enjoy the best of Disney entertainment live, on demand or on the go.

Sky Movies and Now TV Sky Movies Pass customers will be able to watch the U.K. and Ireland premieres of such movies as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the first pay TV window from around nine months after their release in theaters.

In addition to covering movies, the pact covers carriage of such TV networks as Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior, which will continue to be available through Sky’s subscription packages.

The new agreement will offer Sky customers more Disney channels series through catch-up TV and on-demand offers, the companies said. Included in the agreement are ABC Studios primetime drama and comedy hits, such as Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and Scrubs, which will be available on demand through the Sky Box Sets service.

Sky’s  library of more than 1,000 films includes such Disney movies as Frozen, Maleficent, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as well as such Pixar hits as Up and Toy Story.

Gary Davey, managing director, content at Sky, said: "Sky and Disney have been working together for almost 25 years. Our collaboration has continued to grow and the launch of the exclusive Sky Movies Disney channel two years ago has been a huge success. This new agreement means our customers can continue to enjoy the biggest blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Inside Out before they are available on any other online subscription service. They also get access to a great portfolio of family channels and a growing on-demand library of amazing shows and films which we know they love."

Mark Endemano, senior vp/general manager, media distribution, Disney EMEA, said: "With our shared goal of bringing the highest quality, creative entertainment to audiences in the U.K. and Ireland in ever more flexible ways, we are extending our relationship with Sky to offer subscribers our movies, series, and our channels at home and on the go. Two years on from its launch, we are particularly proud of the shared success of Sky Movies Disney, and look forward to bringing more of our much-loved stories and characters to audiences in the U.K. and Ireland."