Disney+ launch events in London cancelled amid coronavirus fears

Disney has scrapped planned press events in London for the launch of its streaming service amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

The European launch for Disney+ included a press conference and panels with key executives and talent on Thursday and Friday.

Disney said in a statement: “Due to a number of media attendee cancellations and increasing concerns at the prospect of travelling internationally at this time, we have decided to cancel our Disney+ launch events scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday.”

Baby Yoda
Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian (Disney+/PA)

They added that the decision “has been made out of an abundance of caution and everyone’s best interests in mind”.

Plans for a Disney+ executive press briefing by a webcast have since been confirmed, and will take place next week.

Disney said journalists based in the UK will be able to access the Disney+ Lounge, which will be open for product demonstrations on Friday.

Disney+ is a new platform that will be home to original content, films and other series from studios including Disney, Pixar and Marvel as well as the Star Wars universe.

It is due to launch in the UK and other European territories including Germany, Italy and Spain on March 24.

The service, which launched in the US last year, is seen as the latest challenger to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.

Sky and Disney today announced a new multi-year deal, making Disney+ available for purchase in the UK and Ireland on Sky Q.

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— Sky Corporate (@SkyCorporate) March 3, 2020

The cancellation of the press events came as Sky and Disney announced a new multi-year deal that will make Disney+ available in the UK and Ireland on Sky Q and on Now TV later in the year.

Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “We’ve built a strong partnership with Disney over three decades and we’re pleased that our customers in the UK and Ireland can continue to enjoy their world-class content – all in one place on Sky Q.

“This is a great start to what is set to be another stellar year for Sky – in 2020 we’ll launch new channels and genres, start building Sky Studios Elstree and we’ve got brilliant new and returning originals coming too.”

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