– by Campbell Clark

The major Nations of Europe are today getting ready to break the law en masse as the Disney+ launch date has been revealed for the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy amongst others. While some nations already have access to Disney+, the majority of countries have the service launching within a week or so, these European Nations have just been told they won’t get the new streaming service until March 31st, 2020.

You can check out the social media post by Marvel UK below, and also feel free to check some of the comments by disgruntled fans, one of which is my own.

The problem here is that these are major, heavily populated countries where the MCU, and Star Wars and all the other Disney properties are also super popular. I think if you take just the UK alone, we, of course, speak English and the vast majority of our big-budget entertainment comes from the US. Fans just as keen to see the next installment of the Marvel or Star Wars universes and probably involved with many residents of the U.S. and Canada on social media platforms and fan forums. Are those fans supposed to stay off the internet for FOUR months in order to avoid spoilers for The Mandalorian, the first-ever Star Wars live-action TV show?

This seems crazy, and whilst yes, the MCU content won’t really start arriving until it has launched in Europe, these fans will miss out on The Mandalorian Season 1, and the return of The Clone Wars animated show. So why is this happening?

The answer is honestly unknown at this point, nothing has been said, but we can make a few assumptions based on just the UK alone. In the UK the biggest premium satellite TV company Sky, have exclusive Disney content that none of their rivals do. For the paid movie channels they have a dedicated Disney section, and it shows every MCU movie, all the Star Wars movies, and a ton of live-action and animated Disney films from the past. The assumption from most fans (owing to the lack of any formal explanation), is that Sky’s exclusive rights are likely already bought and paid for, and they, therefore, won’t give those rights up in order to allow Disney+ to steal all their customers away from them.

Interestingly, if you remember the Disney/Fox deal, initially Sky TV was one of the assets that Disney would be taking control of, however, this aspect of Fox was allowed instead to pass to Comcast, which then removed them from bidding for Fox itself. It’s quite possible that if Disney had taken control of Sky TV, they would have delivered the Disney+ content through that service instead. That’s not to mention that Comcast is not simply going to say, “Hey Disney, have all your IP’s back, that exclusivity deal doesn’t matter to us.”

Though, I still think this is a major, major mistake on Disney’s part, for one good reason, piracy! The general message coming from European fans to Disney is “Fine, Ima pirate the hell out of your content, but if you had released it on time, I’d have paid you for it.” The image below is one I shared with some of my colleagues here in the US last night. Not because I intend to pirate The Mandalorian, but to be honest I am probably going to have to do something, like use a VPN to pretend I am living in Netherlands so I can actually give Disney my money for this. So, this image is Europe when Disney wonders why we are talking like we’ve seen The Mandalorian.

Honestly, people are going to torrent, stream illegally through chipped boxes, and a whole host of other methods to watch The Mandalorian without being spoiled. I would never condone this as it’s a loss of revenue, but I have to say I have real empathy with the people who claim they will do it for this one, it is far easier than the VPN idea I had for accessing this content, which a lot of people are just not familiar with.

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What they should have done? Released Disney+ with only the content they have access to, and explains to consumers that the service will fill out completely on March 31st, 2020 and why they cannot show this content earlier. Fans can still subscribe and get access to the new content which is probably going to be the driving force in sales anyway.

Any European fans like me, totally pi**ed off by this Disney+ news? Tell us what you think below

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