Sky splashes out with a deal for Disney movies and new channel

BSKYB has inked a deal with Disney that will see the Hollywood giant’s films shown on a new channel as well as open up its catalogue of historic films to on-demand viewing.

The deal will tighten Sky’s grip on exclusive film rights by giving it first access to new titles such as Iron Man 3 and Avengers Assemble, having signed similar deals with Sony, Universal and Warner in the last six months.

However, it is the first deal Sky has signed that will create a separate channel, which will show new and classic Disney films when it launches next month.

The agreement continues Sky’s claim to first access rights to movies from Hollywood’s six major film studios, allowing it to display films around six months after they have run in cinemas and a year before other broadcasters.

Its dominance has been a bone of contention for its rivals, and was probed by the Competition Commission last year, although the body found that the launch of Netflix and Lovefilm had curbed Sky’s powerful position.