Tag Archives: The Walt Disney Company

Disney+ sets South Africa launch date

Disney+ original The Mandalorian

The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) has confirmed launch dates for Disney+ in 42 countries, including South Africa, Egypt, Greece, Poland, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The Mouse House will bring its streamer to South Africa on May 18, followed by a host of other countries in June, having confirmed launch plans earlier this year.

Disney+ will be made available in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen on June 8, with its monthly price ranging from US$8.99 to US$2.99.

On June 14 it will arrive in Albania, Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Vatican City.

It will launch in Israel on June 16, having launched in territories such as Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, French Polynesia and St Helena on June 14.

It comes after TWDC last year delayed the launch of its streaming service in Eastern Europe from late 2021 to summer 2022.

Subscribers will have access to Star Wars’ The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian as well as Marvel Studios series Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac, plus recent blockbuster Shang-Chi & the Legend of The Ten Rings.

Disney+ features movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, along with The Simpsons and general entertainment content brand Star.

Earlier this month the Mouse House unveiled plans to add an AVoD tier to Disney+ before the end of the year, marking the first time the company has deviated from an SVoD strategy for the streaming service.

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Nat Geo Kids Africa series set for 2022

A National Geographic kids’ educational entertainment series is set to hit screens in Africa in mid- to late-2022.

Christine Service

National Geographic Kids Africa, a 26-part series, will be produced by The Walt Disney Company in association with Kenya-based WildlifeDirect, the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development.

It will focus on the development of local content relating to the environment, conservation and associated topics that are important to children and their communities. The project aims to inspire and promote behavioural change in its audiences to protect the world in which they live through engendering a deeper understanding of the environment.

The programme, which will be produced entirely in Africa by African storytellers, will air across the continent on both National Geographic Wild and Disney Channel and will extend into engaging digital platforms that further explore biodiversity, wildlife and the natural world.

Paula Kahumbu, CEO of WildlifeDirect said: “We are deeply humbled and proud to be working with some of the world’s greatest institutions, the US Department of State, USAID, Disney and National Geographic, to transform conservation outcomes in Africa by inspiring people in Africa and around the world through the authentic voices of Africa’s young heroes. This series is a first in so many ways, not least the unique partnership but also because of outreach efforts which will deliver a positive impact on nature across the region.”

Christine Service, general manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa, added: “For over 133 years, National Geographic’s core mission has been to ignite the explorer in everyone through thought-provoking, fact-based storytelling from scientists, explorers, photographers and filmmakers. This initiative will bring children from across the continent into the conversation and, in doing so, energise the next generation of environmental advocates through this innovative and engaging programme.”

Matthew Lussenhop, acting assistant secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State, said: “A key element of our charge is to address the environmental, social, political, and economic challenges we all face. We look forward to enhancing this important initiative with people-to-people exchanges to inspire and connect the next generation of conservationists, filmmakers and leaders in Africa who will create lasting change to protect their natural environment. This partnership represents an innovative way forward to address some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

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Disney hires Bradley-Jones for D2C

The Walt Disney Company has hired Luke Bradley-Jones, former MD of BBC.com and global iPlayer, to run its forthcoming direct-to-consumer (D2C) service in Europe and Africa.

Luke Bradley-Jones

Bradley-Jones will join the Mouse House’s D2C and international unit as senior VP, D2C and general manager, Disney+ Europe and Africa in early 2020.

Based in London, Bradley-Jones will report to both Jan Koeppen, president of television and D2C, Europe and Africa, and Michael Paull, president of Disney streaming services. He will also work with Ricky Strauss, president of content and marketing at Disney+.

Bradley-Jones joins from Sky UK, where he was the chief marketing officer, responsible for brand strategy, product and content marketing and customer engagement across all Sky TV, broadband and mobile products.

In his seven-and-a-half years at Sky, Bradley-Jones oversaw Sky’s on-demand services and led the launches of Sky Store, Sky Go Extra, Sky Box Sets and, most recently, Sky Q.

Before joining Sky in 2011, Bradley-Jones spent five years at the commercial arm of the BBC, joining as head of strategy before rising to MD of BBC.com and global iPlayer, responsible for the corporation’s online, mobile and digital VoD business.

He spent two years in the US where he launched BBC.com and built out a digital VoD business through partnerships with Apple, Netflix, Xbox and Yahoo. Prior to joining BBC Worldwide, now known as BBC Studios, in 2006, Bradley-Jones worked at media consultancy Spectrum Strategy Consultants, now Value Partners.

Launching in the US on November 12, Disney+ will feature ad-free movies and shows from brands including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.

The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, The World According to Jeff Goldblum and Encore! are among the series that will be exclusive to the platform.

It will also feature 30 seasons of The Simpsons and be the exclusive streaming home for films released by The Walt Disney Studios in 2019 and after. These include Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger last week told investors the firm is currently in discussions about the international roll-out of Disney+, with “multiple international markets” due to receive the service within the next two to three years.

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Fox Sports Africa nets rebrand to ESPN

Fox Sports Africa’s FOX Sports and FOX Sports 2 channels are to be rebranded as ESPN and ESPN2 respectively, following The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

Christine Service

From August 30, African viewers will have access to ESPN shows on TV and online, covering sports such as Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer and multiple European football leagues.

There will also be live broadcasts of the WAFU Cup of Nations 2019 on the ESPN channels, with the football tournament taking place from September 28 to October 13 in Thies, Senegal.

ESPN Europe and Africa’s Frank Rutten said: “Rebranding to ESPN is a natural transition since The Walt Disney Company bought 21st Century Fox.”

“Fox Sports Africa is excited to grow its broadcast offering under the ESPN banner,” said Christine Service, senior VP and country manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa, adding that Disney was looking forward to developing the channels in the future.

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