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Disney, Sky bow co-branded movie net

Disney is launching its first ever co-branded movie channel as part of a wide-ranging deal with BSkyB that also gives the UK satcaster exclusive rights to new Mouse House titles for at least a year after release.

Sky Movies Disney will go live on March 28, for the first time offering consumers in the UK and Ireland all new and classic Disney and Pixar movies on a single channel.

Recent hits including Brave, Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings and Wreck-It Ralph will all make their pay-TV debuts in the two territories via the new net, as will upcoming releases like Oz: The Great and Powerful, Monsters University and The Lone Ranger.

The creation of Sky Disney Movies comes as the two firms cement a 24-year relationship, extending carriage for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. The latter also gets a new HD version, due in April.

The pact also sees Sky get first subscription pay-TV movie rights to movies from Disney-owned Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, Disney’s more recent US$4bn acquisition that brings with it a new slew of Star Wars titles.

Sky Movies Disney will have new Disney titles from around six months after they’ve ended their cinema run and will be exclusive to Sky Movies for at least 12 months. All will be available to view on-demand and away from home via Sky Go, as well as through Now TV – Sky’s subscription-free internet TV service – though only to those who pay for a monthly Sky Movies pass.

Mouse House movies available in 3D will be shown on the Sky 3D channel.

“We’re delighted that an entertainment company of Disney’s international stature has chosen to work with Sky on its first co-branded linear movie channel,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch. “This is a world-first collaboration that will excite millions of families and further strengthen our market-leading movies service.”

“This agreement will not only increase the range of Disney entertainment being made available, but also the devices and platforms that viewers will be able to enjoy them on,” said Disney senior VP and general manager for media distribution Catherine Powell.

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