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Disney and Sony announce unprecedented licensing agreement

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

The Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) have announced a multi-year content licensing agreement for U.S. streaming and TV rights to Sony Pictures’ new theatrical releases across Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution’s platforms, including Disney+ and Hulu streaming services and linear entertainment networks including ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic.

Disney and Sony deal includes Spider-Man movies
Tom Holland and Jacky Gyllenhaal in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

The unprecedented deal between Disney and Sony encompasses U.S. rights to new theatrical releases from 2022-2026 — beginning for each film after its Pay 1 TV window — and builds on the companies’ prior arrangement, which saw SPE movies licensed to FX in the post-Pay 1 TV window.

“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.”

The agreement also grants rights to a significant number of SPE’s iconic library titles like the “Jumanji” and “Hotel Transylvania” franchises and Sony Pictures’ portfolio of Marvel Universe character films — including Spider-Man — which gives Disney massive programming potential across its platforms and positions them as key destinations for the blockbuster Spider-Man movies. A particularly notable feature of the agreement is that it provides Hulu with access to a significant number of SPE library titles beginning as early as 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. “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.”

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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