Disney+ launch delayed in France amid coronavirus; bandwidth use lowered for European subscribers

Disney+ is set to launch in the UK and most major European markets on 24 March

Reuters March 22, 2020 12:10:26 IST
Disney+ launch delayed in France amid coronavirus; bandwidth use lowered for European subscribers

The launch of Walt Disney’s streaming services in France will be delayed by two weeks at the request of the French government, the company said in a statement on Saturday.

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Disney+ is set to launch in the UK and most major European markets on 24 March. However, according to the statement, European subscribers will receive temporarily degraded video quality.

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Disney Plus logo. Image from Disney

Anticipating higher consumer demand, the company is instituting measures to “lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25 percent in all of the markets launching Disney+ on 24 March,” said Kevin Mayer, head of Disney’s Direct-to-consumer and International business.

According to the statement, Disney had agreed to a European Union request for streaming-video providers to “ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure.”

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc, Amazon Inc’s Prime Video and Netflix, had previously said they will sacrifice streaming quality in the European Union to help avert online gridlock as tens of millions of people stay indoors and switch to working from home.

The request to the companies was made by the European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure.

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