Disney, Sony “landmark” movie licensing deal
April 22, 2021
The Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) have agreed a multi-year content licensing deal for US streaming and TV rights to Sony Pictures’ new theatrical releases across Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution’s portfolio of platforms, including its streaming services Disney+ and Hulu, as well as linear entertainment networks including ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX and National Geographic.
The deal covers theatrical releases from 2022-2026 and begins for each film following its Pay 1 TV window (the first movie-release window on television). The agreement builds upon the companies’ prior arrangement which saw SPE movies licensed to FX in the post-Pay 1 TV window.
The deal also grants rights to a significant number of SPE’s iconic library titles, ranging from the Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania franchises to Sony Pictures’ Universe of Marvel Characters films, including Spider-Man. This gives Disney enormous programming potential across its platforms and makes them key destinations for a robust collection of Spider-Man films. Notably, the agreement provides Hulu access to a significant number of library titles beginning as early as June 2021.
“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,” commented 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.”
“This ground-breaking agreement reconfirms the unique and enduring value of our movies to film lovers and the platforms and networks that serve them,” added 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 maximise the value of each of our films, by making them available to consumers across all windows with a wide range of key partners.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.