NTT Docomo clinches Disney streaming deal
Nikkei -- May 29
NTT Docomo, Japan's largest mobile carrier, said Thursday it has secured exclusive rights to offer Disney's streaming service Disney+ in the country starting June 11.

The deal marks the first time a carrier will distribute Disney+ exclusively, and gives Docomo a weapon to snatch subscribers from rivals at a time when the industry is struggling to boost growth. The highly anticipated launch of 5G in the spring was disrupted by the outbreak of COVID-19.

In Japan, Disney+ will initially stream popular films like "Toy Story 4" and "Lion King," as well as original content. Disney+ subscribers will not need to have a contract for Docomo's telecommunication service, but will be required to set up a free account with the company. The service will cost 700 yen ($6.50) per month.

Docomo has been nurturing ties with Disney, offering users a separate streaming service called Disney Deluxe last year.

Disney said in early May it had more than 54.5 million Disney+ subscribers, just six months after its launch, making it one of the biggest rivals of U.S. giant Netflix.

The Disney franchise has a large fan base in Japan thanks to its popular theme parks on the outskirts of Tokyo. The parks drew 29 million visitors in the year ended March 2020, down 11% from the previous year due to closures related to the coronavirus.

News source: Nikkei
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