Disney+ and ESPN+ plus will promote premium TV channel Starz as part of a deal to allow Disney to include some of its most popular titles on the forthcoming streaming service.
- The deal relates to complex licensing agreements that Disney struck with Starz years before Disney+ was even a sparkle in Bob Iger’s eye.
- In that agreement, Starz gained the streaming rights to select Lucasfilm and Marvel titles, whose film rights are owned by Disney.
- Meanwhile, Disney also inked similar deals for its owned content with Netflix — including Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar titles.
- Because of this, Disney originally had to admit the disappointing news that some “Star Wars” and other content wouldn’t be on Disney+ when it launches Nov. 12, 2019.
- Now, however, it has reached a deal that will allow it to stream select titles originally licensed to Starz.
- In exchange for this concession, Disney will display an ad for Starz after users finish signing up for Disney+ or ESPN+ that will allow viewers to sign up separately for that service, reports The Verge.
- Disney emphasized that users won’t see the ad after sign up — or within any content (the entire Disney+ service is billed as ad free).
- Disney still has some content that’s licensed to Netflix through the end of the year.