Sky extends exclusive deal for UK Disney streaming rights (sorry Netflix)
James R | On 12, Oct 2015
Sky has extended its deal with Disney for exclusive movie streaming rights.
The broadcaster, which has long offered pay-TV customers premium film titles after their DVD release, has seen the landscape change over the years. The window between DVD and pay-TV has shortened to nine months (from 12), while the shift from linear broadcast to on-demand streaming has seen rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime enter the market.
Indeed, in the US, Netflix recently signed a deal for the exclusive rights to Disney films from 2016 onwards. In the UK, though, Sky has most major studios locked down, with Disney one of many to have an exclusive one-year window with Sky before they go anywhere else. In the world of VOD, that means Sky’s Netflix rival, NOW – which offers the Sky Movies catalogue to stream for non-customers at £9.99 a month – is a more attractive proposition.
Now, the British company has extended that agreement in a multi-year contract, reports Yahoo, shutting out other “pay TV” platforms. That means Sky has a hold over not just Pixar, but also Marvel and Star Wars movies after they appear in cinemas and DVD and pay-per-view VOD platforms – a crucial advantage this Christmas.
Yahoo notes that when Netflix first launched on British soil, it said it would consider legal action were it unable to break Sky’s studio monopoly. While the VOD service has not succeeded, Netflix has found its exclusive TV deals to prove lucrative enough not to worry competition regulators.
How much, exactly, does this kind of deal cost? The US deal with Netflix is pegged at around $300 million, an indicator of just how much exclusivity is worth to Sky, as the VOD market continues to heat up.