Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company today announced a deal that will give the latter streaming and TV rights for theatrical releases from 2022 through 2026. The deal will allow for new films to hit Disney+ as well as Hulu, and also linear networks like ABC, the various Disney channels, Freeform, FX and National Geographic.
The deal also grants rights to a number of titles already in the Sony library, including Jumanji, Hotel Transylvania — and the Marvel films whose characters are owned by Sony, which means Spider-Man.
Hulu will start getting "a significant number" of those catalog films starting this June.
“This landmark multi-year, platform agnostic agreement guarantees the team at Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution a tremendous amount of flexibility and breadth of programming possibilities to leverage Sony’s rich slate of award-winning action and family films across our direct-to-consumer services and linear channels,” said Chuck Saftler, head of Business Operations for ABC, Freeform, FX Networks, and Acquisitions in DMED’s Networks division, who played a key role in the negotiations. “This is a win for fans, who will benefit from the ability to access the very best content from two of Hollywood’s most prolific studios across a multitude of viewing platforms and experiences.”
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. But chances are they weren't cheap, and are balanced more in Sony's favor, since it'll fill a Peter Parker-sized hole in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney Plus. Previously, films like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home were unavailable on Disney+.
And the new films won't hit Disney+ immediately. That's way too much to ask for. Instead, we'll have to wait until the usual video-on-demand window opens up.
Still, it's far better than nothing.
“This groundbreaking agreement reconfirms the unique and enduring value of our movies to film lovers and the platforms and networks that serve them,” said Keith Le Goy, president, Worldwide Distribution and Networks, Sony Pictures Entertainment. “We are thrilled to team up with Disney on delivering our titles to their viewers and subscribers. This agreement cements a key piece of our film distribution strategy, which is to maximize the value of each of our films, by making them available to consumers across all windows with a wide range of key partners.”
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