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Walt Disney Company pushes streamer launch in eastern Europe to 2022

The Walt Disney Company has delayed the launch of streaming service Disney+ in eastern Europe from later this year to summer 2022.

Bob Chapek

The change in the scheduled roll-out was revealed by Bob Chapek, The Walt Disney Company CEO, during the media giant’s earnings call for the third quarter of the financial year.

Chapek said the delay was occurring “primarily to allow for an expanded footprint that will include parts of the Middle East and South Africa” for the streamer, which first launched in North America and other parts of the world in late 2019.

It has been widely available in western Europe since early 2020 while some of its more recent launch markets include Malaysia and Thailand.

Disney+ is also currently available in a limited capacity in Japan and will expand to the full market in late October, followed by additional APAC markets, including South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong in mid-November.

Chapek said Disney+ currently has 116 million subscribers worldwide, while the Mouse House’s other subscription services, ESPN+ and Hulu, currently have 14.9 million and 42.8 million subscribers, respectively.

The roll out of Disney+ around the world is happening in tandem with the closure of Disney linear TV channels in certain international markets as the Mouse House continues its shift to a direct-to-consumer business model via streaming.

Chapek revealed plans to switch off 100 TV channels around the world in 2021 earlier this year, with channels in markets including the the UK, Australia and New Zealand having already gone dark.


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