Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

The Walt Disney Company is swooping into the Canadian market with its powerful new streaming platform Disney Plus in November, and analysts say the menu of Marvel superheroes, Pixar characters, and Disney animated classics could give viewers another reason to drop cable altogether.

The company says Disney Plus will cost $8.99 per month, or $89.99 per year, when the service launches on Nov. 12.

Even though the platform will not be available here as a bundle deal — in the United States, the service will be packaged at a discount with Hulu and ESPN — there’s still plenty of programming that could entice Canadian audiences.

“It just makes the household less dependent on cable-delivered video,” said Kaan Yigit, a technology analyst at Solutions Research Group.

“Some of those households will look to shave the cord — or cut the cord for that matter — over and above the intentions they might’ve had prior to Disney.”

While the Canadian streaming video market has been competitive for years, with Netflix as the dominant player and Bell Media’s Crave and Amazon Prime Video also in the mix, the arrival of Disney will be unprecedented.

On top of Marvel, Pixar and its animated library, the company owns the rights to Star Wars, as well as many TV shows on U.S. network ABC, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Lost.”

Disney also recently purchased rival Hollywood studio Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., giving them access to decades of film and TV, including action hits like “Die Hard,” and classics such as “The Sound of Music.” Add to that some of this year’s biggest movies, including “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin” and “Toy Story 4,” which are expected to eventually land on the service.

The initial slate of titles that’ll launch on Disney Plus in Canada hasn’t been announced, but the company has teased some projects in the works. It’ll update the ”Home Alone” and “Night at the Museum” franchises exclusively for the platform, as well as remake ”Lady and the Tramp.”

READ MORE: Disney, Comcast now Hulu’s only owners as AT&T exits

Disney is banking on its appeal out of the gate, and unlike many of its predecessors, Disney Plus will launch across nearly all major mobile and connected TV devices. That’ll give viewers an opportunity to sign up whether they use Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku or Sony products.

Brahm Eiley, president of consultancy firm Convergence Research, says many questions linger about how Disney Plus will look in Canada. In particular, he wonders if viewers will feel the service’s programming slate pales in comparison to the U.S.

It’s a criticism that hindered Netflix for years after it launched in Canada.

Representatives for Disney declined to answer questions about whether the Canadian service will mirror its American platform.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Urban Safari Rescue Society starts online video presentations

Animal shelter struggling to stay afloat during pandemic

White Rock’s promenade to close to the public

Public access to popular waterfront walkway closing April 10: city

Young Muslims offer helping hand to isolated residents throughout Lower Mainland

Neighbourhood Helper campaign aims to get help to people who can’t leave their homes

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps closed due to COVID-19

Access restricted to Crescent Beach over Easter weekend, City of Surrey announces

SIMPSON: In taking care of its vulnerable, Surrey is showing what it’s made of

Stories about people helping others have overwhelmed the newsroom since COVID-19 hit community

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read