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What happened to the Disney Channel? How can I watch Disney TV in the UK?

Disney Channel logo

The Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior have been a mainstay of kid's entertainment on Sky TV, Virgin TV, and other TV providers for years. But as of October 2020, you’ll notice it is no longer available on any TV service.

What happened to the Disney TV channels, and how do you watch Disney in the UK now? Read on to find out more. 

Disney Channel in the UK: the key points

  • Disney Channel is no longer broadcast by any UK TV providers.
  • All Disney content is now available on Disney+.
  • Disney+ can be viewed on many devices, including smart TVs, laptops, and streaming boxes.
  • Disney+ has a minimum recommended broadband speed of 5Mb.

What happened to the Disney Channel?

Disney withdrew the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior from all UK TV providers on September 30 2020. This means that you can no longer access either the live broadcast channels or stream any on-demand content.

This applies to all TV operators, including Sky TV, Virgin Media TV, TalkTalk TV and BT TV.

Why did Disney close the Disney Channel?

Disney closed its TV channels to focus all attention on its streaming service, Disney+. From now on, all of its shows, movies, and other content will be found on this streaming platform.

Disney+ boasts a vast catalogue of movies and TV shows to stream on-demand. This includes everything from classic animated films such as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin, to new Disney+ exclusives, popular Disney live-action shows like Hannah Montana, and all the Marvel and Star Wars movies and TV shows.

How can I watch Disney movies and TV shows without Disney Channel?

To view Disney content now, you'll need to sign up for a Disney+ membership.

This applies even if you previously had the Disney channel through your TV provider. It's a separate subscription that costs the same regardless of what you already pay for a TV package.

You do not need to have any other TV service, and it is not necessary to pay for a TV licence to use Disney+.

Disney+ Standard membership costs either £7.99 per month or £79.90 per year. There's also a cheaper monthly subscription with ads (£4.99 per month), or a Premium service that allows you to stream on four devices at a time (£10.99 per month or £109.90 per year).

While you will save money with an annual subscription, the monthly option does let you cancel at any time.

To view Disney+ you will need an internet connection and a compatible device, such as: 

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV (4th generation and later)
  • Chromecast
  • PlayStation
  • Roku
  • Xbox
  • Android TV devices
  • Hisense smart TVs
  • LG WebOS smart TVs
  • Samsung Tizen smart TVs
  • NOW
  • Sky
  • Virgin Media O2

What broadband speed do I need for Disney Plus?

Disney recommends the following broadband speeds:

  • HD quality: 5Mb
  • 4K Ultra HD quality: 25Mb

If you're going to stream TV regularly, we recommend using a fibre optic broadband service. ADSL broadband can meet the minimum speed for HD, but it will struggle if the connection is shared, and is not suitable for streaming 4K video.

Can I get a cheaper TV deal?

If you’re annoyed at the loss of Disney Channel, or simply want to save some money on your TV package, there are various options available.

If you currently have a premium TV service from Sky or Virgin Media, you could look at getting a cheaper TalkTalk TV or BT TV deal. These offer many of the same channels at a lower cost.

Dynamic deal panel
Dynamic deal panel

Another one to consider is NOW TV. This provides access to popular Sky entertainment channels using monthly passes. So you don’t need to commit to a long contract and can change your channel line-up whenever you want without penalty. 

Dynamic deal panel

To see what else is available, check out our TV and broadband deals.

Meet the author:


Matt has been working with Broadband Genie since 2009. A lifelong tech enthusiast, he has 20 years of experience writing about technology for print and online.

Specialist subject: The technicalities of broadband

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