Why Disney+ in South Africa might not look the same as overseas

Why Disney+ in South Africa might not look the same as overseas

The Disney+ catalogue that will launch in South Africa next month might not be the same as in other countries. Disney told MyBroadband that existing licencing commitments might result in slight variances between the content available to subscribers in South Africa and other regions.

“There may be slight differences within the library content across the different markets, given existing licensing commitments,” Disney said.

Licencing commitments — or broadcasting and streaming rights — are made between a broadcaster or streaming provider and the copyright holder to screen content.

These deals may include exclusive rights for a specific region. Therefore, broadcasters and streaming providers in South Africa may already have commitments from Disney for exclusive rights on specific programming that would otherwise have been included in the Disney+ catalogue.

Walt Disney Company announced that it would launch Disney+ in South Africa on 18 May 2022, and the streaming service will cost R119 each month, or R1,190 yearly up-front. It also announced that it would launch a cheaper, ad-supported subscription in the United States later in the year.

The South African launch is slightly earlier than expected, with Disney initially stating it would launch in the summer of 2022 (winter in the Southern hemisphere). In the US, the summer release season is traditionally measured between the last weekend in May and the first Monday in September — 28 May to 5 September 2022.

The company also confirmed that the content shown in South Africa would include programming from the Star content hub, which features TV shows and movies aimed at adults, rather than Disney+’s more family-oriented and franchise-based content.

In the UK, Star includes shows such as Alias, Blackish, Bones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Grey’s Anatomy, Prison Break, The X-Files, and 24. If any of the copyright holders behind these programmes entered into licencing commitments with a South African broadcaster, Disney+ will not be able to show it in the country.

Similarly, films on Star hub include Deadpool 2, Good Morning Vietnam, Independence Day, Planet of the Apes, Pretty Woman, White Men Can’t Jump, and cult classic Starship Troopers, to name a few.

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