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Having already launched in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, Disney’s streaming platform was due to herald its expansion across select European territories March 24 with an event Thursday evening followed by a press conference and panel discussions Friday morning, with journalists from across the continent invited to London to take part.
“Due to a number of media attendee cancellations and increasing concerns at the prospect of traveling internationally at this time, we have decided to cancel our Disney+ launch events scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday,” a spokesperson said, adding that the executive press briefing would now take place next week over webcast.
U.K.-based journalists will still be able to access a Disney+ lounge for product demonstrations, while Disney said it would find “alternative means” to make talent available to those who were due to attend the Disney+ Originals junket.
The SVOD service was initially set to launch across parts of Europe on March 31, but the date was moved forward by a week earlier this year. It will now roll out March 24 across the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.
Disney’s event is just one of many around the world to have fallen victim to the coronavirus as confirmed cases of the disease continue to rise, with more countries affected each day. This week saw the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and Bali’s APOS Media event postponed, while Twitter and Facebook have both confirmed they’ll be skipping this month’s SXSW festival, which is under pressure to change its dates. The film industry as a whole is facing a $5 billion dollar hit, according to analysts.
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