Disney+ is coming down the streaming service pike in just a few days, and while it will have a massive amount of content on day one that will be likely to have people taking off of work just so they can organize their viewing schedules for the next year. But, unfortunately, not everything that's Disney related will be available when the service launches, so the company has a pretty nutty plan in place to re-secure streaming rights for some of the properties that have gone elsewhere, in order to make sure some pretty big titles are included from the start.
And, when I say "elsewhere," I mean specifically to the premium cable network Starz. In order to regain streaming rights for some of the Disney movies that have been streaming on Starz, Disney+ and ESPN+ will run an ad that actually promotes the competition. Well, my stars! (See what I did there?) This just isn't done!
As you might imagine, this is a rather surprising development, but it's pretty clear that Disney is intent on bringing all of its movies and TV shows home to roost on Disney+ as soon as possible and by any means necessary. So, exactly what does this ad entail, and where will you see it? In exchange for getting the streaming rights back for movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, customers who sign up for Disney+ and ESPN+ will be faced with the Starz ad after they finish filling out all their details, and it will appear on the Disney+ Android app as well as browsers.
According to The Verge, a Disney spokesperson did confirm that this Starz ad is part of a revised licensing deal with the cabler to make sure that certain properties can appear on Disney+ when it goes live on November 12. The streaming service is completely ad free, though, and once you log in to Disney+ or ESPN+, you can rest assured that there won't be anything in there which prompts you to sign up for Starz and all of its boob, violence and curse word-filled content.
Of course, the hole that Disney is now facing is one that they totally dug themselves into. The company spent many years making streaming licensing deals for big bucks with companies like Starz and Netflix, but once those behind Disney decided to launch their own streaming service, they knew they would need to figure out a way to wrangle those rights back for a wide array of titles from Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Otherwise, Disney+ would be without some of the company's best known (and money-making) works of the past several years.
As it stands now, there are literally hundreds of hours worth of entertainment that will be open to all with a Disney+ subscription that first day. These include mega hits like Frozen, Moana, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, the first seven films in the Star Wars franchise and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and tons of titles from Walt Disney Pictures, National Geographic, The Disney Channel and Fox. That's not to mention any of the original content that's coming along.
Remember when I said that hundreds of hours worth of entertainment would be available on Disney+ day one? Forget that; it's more like thousands of hours. Just go ahead and take a sabbatical from work, is what I'm saying.
Disney+ goes live on November 12, but be sure to check out everything else you can catch on the small screen with our 2019 fall TV premiere guide!