MADRID — The Walt Disney Company and Spain-based telecom Telefónica announced Sunday a multi-year strategic alliance which will see streaming service Disney Plus launch in Spain on Movistar Plus, Telefónica’s pay TV-SVOD service.
Following fast on the heels of carriage arrangements unveiled last week with Sky’s Sky Q and Now TV for the U.K. and Ireland and with Italian telecom TIM, the Disney Plus-Telefónica deal will give Disney Plus the launchpad of Spain’s biggest pay TV-SVOD service.
Disney Plus announced last December an exclusive distribution deal with Vivendi’s Canal Plus Group, France’s biggest pay TV operator.
Titles included in Disney’s Plus’ Spain launch take in content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, in all 25 exclusive Disney Plus Originals, 500 movies and 300 series, such as “The Mandalorian,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”, “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” and new live-action title “The Lady and the Tramp.”
It would be unusual if Movistar Plus does not take advantage of the major marketing push across Europe to launch on March 24, in line with the U.K. and Italy.
The Disney Plus deal, which looks unique to Movistar Plus – pay TV rivals Orange and Vodafone have made no indication that they will carry Disney Plus – could well adopt the integrated interface arrangement used for Netflix by Movistar Plus and indeed Sky.
The alliance builds on years of close collaboration between Disney and Telefonica which has seen the creation of a Movistar Disney channel, pop-up Movistar-Disney-Pixar services, and current carriage, also available in catch-up and VOD, of an HD Disney Channel, and Disney XD and Disney Junior channels, which will now be subsumed in the Disney Plus offer.
Described as a strategic alliance rather than a distribution deal, Telefonica’s Disney Plus agreement also opens the door in a mid-term to co-production between Disney Plus and Movistar Plus, which is actively pursuing a strategy of co-production and strategic partnerships with companies such as Studiocanal and Spain’s Atresmedia Studios.
The deal also reinforces Movistar Plus’ standing as Spain’s main direct-to-consumer platform which already carries Netflix, La Liga and UEFA Champions League soccer and a 2020 lineup of at least 14 Movistar Plus new series or seasons of ever larger-scale and more action-pumped original productions, such as upcoming anti-terrorism thriller “La Unidad.”
“We’re delighted to have Telefónica on board for the launch of Disney Plus. This marks an exciting new era of entertainment featuring premium content across our portfolio of brands, and we can’t wait for Movistar customers to experience it,” said Jan Koeppen, president, The Walt Disney Company EMEA.
Added Emilio Gayo, Telefónica Spain CEO: “After years of a strong relationship between Telefónica and Disney, we are excited to announce this alliance. Disney Plus enriches the experience of Movistar customers, with exceptional storytelling from five incredible Disney brands. This agreement reinforces our strategy of always offering our customers the best original content.”