The company confirmed that the three channels – Disney Channel, DisneyXD and Disney Junior – will be switched off from October 1, with Disney+ becoming the exclusive home for their content.
The switch-off will come exactly 25 years after the Disney Channel first launched in the UK market, and is a signifier of Disney’s seriousness about expanding its SVOD which has to date gathered more than 54 million subscribers.
Disney did add that this is not necessarily a sign of what’s to come in other markets, with a statement saying: “The Walt Disney Company remains committed to our kids channels business and continues to execute distribution agreements for Disney channels in many markets where Disney+ is also available, with the goal of giving our fans multiple entry points to our storytelling.”
This decision will leave Sky Cinema Disney as the only Disney-branded channel on either Sky or Virgin in the UK. National Geographic and Fox – both acquired by Disney in the US$71 billion takeover of 20th Century Fox – will continue to operate.