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

Police seek suspect in rash of Castlegar thefts

There have been a number of thefts over the last two weeks in Castlegar.

All Mercer Celgar workers in Castlegar return to work

At least 215 of the workers were laid off during a temporary mill shutdown in July

Columbia Avenue and Hwy 3 hot spots for crashes in Castlegar

In 2019, there were 624 accidents in Castlegar and 3047 over the last five years.

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read