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Sky customers getting Disney Plus later this month

(Logo: Walt Disney Company/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

Satellite broadcaster Sky has struck a non-exclusive agreement with the Walt Disney Company to bring the new streaming service Disney Plus to Sky Q set-top boxes later this month.

The agreement, announced early Tuesday morning, also allows Sky to make Disney Plus available to customers of its streaming TV service Now TV, which uses re-branded Roku boxes to stream content from Sky, Netflix and other providers.

“We’ve built a strong partnership with Disney over three decades, and we’re pleased that our customers in the UK and Ireland can continue to enjoy their world-class content – all in one place on Sky Q [and Now TV],” Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Disney Plus is expected to launch in the United Kingdom on March 24, and Sky customers who receive TV programming through the company’s Sky Q set-top boxes will have immediate access to it. The service will come with a separate fee.

Now TV customers are expected to receive Disney Plus access in the coming months.

Disney’s agreement with Sky is the latest move to make the streaming company native on traditional pay TV set-top boxes in Europe. Late last year, Disney inked a similar agreement with French television service Canal Plus that allows customers to access the service through a native app on Canal Plus devices. The service is also offered to non-customers as a standalone Disney Plus app.

Pay TV companies like Sky and Canal Plus are increasingly looking to agreements that make third party applications like Disney Plus and Netflix available on their platforms as they attempt to ward a trend of cord-cutting that sees television consumers dump costly cable and satellite services for cheaper streaming ones. The thinking by these companies is if they can make the same apps available on cable and satellite set-top boxes, consumers are less likely to drop their services.

Sky is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).