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Disney Plus postpones French launch, will reduce bandwidth in Europe

Launch postponed at the request of the French government

The launch of Disney Plus in France has been postponed until 7th April.

In a statement, Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international division, said: “To our French fans, the Disney Plus service is coming, but at the request of the French government, we have agreed to postpone the launch until Tuesday, 7 April 2020.”

The SVoD is still due to launch on Tuesday in UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland.

Meyer also confirmed Disney has taken the decision to temporarily degrade its video quality, which will begin as soon as the streaming service launches.

“In line with Disney’s longstanding commitment to act responsibly, we are responding to the request of European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure,” Mayer said.

Mayer continued, “In anticipation of high consumer demand for Disney Plus, we are proactively instituting measures to lower our overall bandwidth utilisation by at least 25 per cent in all of the markets launching Disney Plus on March 24th.

“In the coming days, we will be monitoring internet congestion and working closely with internet service providers to further reduce bit rates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand. We look forward to the launch of Disney Plus and hope it will provide a much-needed respite for families in these challenging and trying times.”