Verizon And Disney Renew Distribution Deal, Add Hulu And ESPN+


By Jonathan Easton

Disney has renewed and expanded its US distribution deal with mobile operator Verizon.

The pair first signed a deal in October 2019 that would give 4G LTE, 5G unlimited, 5G home wireless internet and Fios broadband customers a year’s free access to Disney+.

In a new deal, new select Mix & Match Unlimited customers will also have access to Disney’s other two streaming services Hulu and ESPN+ at no extra cost. Disney typically bundles the three services together for US$12.99 per month, with this offer representing a saving of more than US$150.

The new offer will see Play More Unlimited and Get More Unlimited customers (US$45 and US$55 per month respectively) have access to the triumvirate of SVODs for the duration of their contracts. Meanwhile, subscribers to the more basic Start Unlimited and Do More Unlimited (US$35 and US$45 per month) tiers will be restricted to just Disney+ for six months.

Verizon said that existing customers currently receiving 12-months access to Disney+ can move to the new Play More and Get More Unlimited plans in order to upgrade the benefit, or add on Hulu and ESPN+ for US$6 per month in their current plan.

SVP marketing and products for Verizon Consumer Group, Frank Boulben said: “We led the industry by giving customers Disney+ on us. Now we’re adding The Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, for more entertainment choices that appeal to a variety of interests. We can’t wait to see what customers choose to suit their needs.”

EVP, platform distribution at The Walt Disney Company, Sean Breen said: “The addition of The Disney Bundle to our agreement with Verizon reinforces our commitment to providing their subscribers with access to high-quality entertainment from Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. We are always looking for the most advantageous ways for consumers to experience our content and we are pleased to work with Verizon so that they can provide their customers with these appealing new offers.”

The mobile distribution deal with Verizon was the first to be signed by Disney, but its model has become a key part of its international expansion.

In the UK, Disney signed a similar deal with O2 while it has partnered with state-owned telco Telkomsel for its Indonesian rollout next month.

The D2C business is becoming increasingly central to Disney’s strategy with it recently surpassing 100 million global subscribers.

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