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The Street
The Street
Michael Tedder

Disney+ Expansion Plans Include Vatican City, Egypt

It looks like Baby Yoda is going global, as Disney (DIS) has announced plans to launch its Disney+ streaming service in 42 countries and 11 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this summer. 

The company’s overall goal is to double the number of countries Disney+ is available in to over 160 by 2023, according to a recent earnings call. To reach this goal, Disney will create a new International Content and Operations group to aid in this endeavor, which will be led by the nearly 25-year Disney veteran Rebecca Campbell.

Where Is Disney+ Currently Available?

Disney+ launched right before Thanksgiving 2019 in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands, and became available in Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico a week later. Since then, it has slowly premiered across the world, partnering with service providers such as Sky, one of the United Kingdom’s biggest telecommunications companies, and Hotstar, which is India’s premiere streaming service. 

At the moment, Disney+ is available in the following countries: 

  • North America: United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. 
  • Latin America: Argentina, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela. 
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. 
  • Europe: Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. 

Where Is Disney Planning To Expand To This Year?

Disney is looking to bring Disney+ to the following countries this year:

Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Poland, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican City and Yemen.

Additionally, Disney+ will be available in the following territories this year: Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, St. Pierre and Miquelon Overseas Collective, Åland Islands, Sint Maarten, Svalbard & Jan Mayen, British Indian Ocean Territory, Gibraltar, Pitcairn Islands and St. Helena.

All told, the populations of the new markets add up to about 700 million, with Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, Algeria and Iraq accounting for almost half that number.

Disney has not yet given details on the exact dates that the service will launch in these countries, the service providers it will partner with or the relevant price points. 

Disney+ has a vast catalog of television shows and movies, including all the “Star Wars” and most of the Marvel films, the Indiana Jones franchise, the “Frozen” films and all of the Pixar films, to name just a few. 

Most of this material should be available in the new counties, though on its website Disney does clarify that “while the majority of our content will be available everywhere, there may be slight differences based on your region or where you’re streaming Disney+. Content availability depends on rights that may make certain titles unavailable for streaming in select markets.”

What About China?

While Disney is looking to expand its reach, there is one notable omission in its list of countries.

China is one of the biggest entertainment markets in the world, but at the moment Disney+ has not revealed any plans to offer its streaming service in the country. It’s not alone in that regard.

Western streaming services such as Netflix (NFLX) have not attempted to penetrate the market, owing to a combination of factors such as tight competition from the country’s popular streaming service iQiyi and the Chinese government’s strict rules dictating what kind of content can be distributed in the country. 


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