Disney, BSkyB pact on Blighty channel

Sky Movies Disney expected to debut March 28

LONDON — Disney is to bow a U.K. channel in cahoots with News Corp. pay box BSkyB — believed to be the Mouse House’s first co-branded web.

Sky Movies Disney, which will feature new and classic Disney movies and Disney-Pixar toons, is expected to debut in time for the Easter holidays on March 28.

The arrangement is part of a new agreement between the two companies, covering further movies and Disney Channels across multiple platforms and devices. No financial details were disclosed.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s CEO, said: “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. This is a world-first collaboration that will strengthen our market-leading movies service.”

Launch line-up includes “Brave,” “Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings” and “Wreck-It Ralph” in their first pay TV window in Blighty. Future releases will include “Oz: The Great and Powerful” and “The Lone Ranger.” Films will be available on Sky Movies Disney from around six months following their theatrical run and be exclusive to the channel for at least a year.

Channel will tap library pics including “Bambi,” “Pinocchio” “Finding Nemo,” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise

The movies will also be distributed on demand on the Sky Go mobile platform.

Now TV, BSkyB’s Internet service launched to compete against Netflix, will provide access to the Disney titles to subscribers who buy the Sky Movies monthly pass.

Disney films in 3D will be shown via the Sky 3D channel.

New agreement gives Sky Movies the first pay TV movie rights in the U.K. and Ireland to other titles distributed by Disney, including new movies from Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios such as “Iron Man 3” and “Avengers Assemble.”

A renewed deal for the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior is also covered by the pact, alongside an HD version of Disney Junior, bowing in April.