StarHub’s Exclusive Disney+ Deal Just Means Singtel Can’t Sell The Service

When StarHub announced an exclusive partnership for Disney+ in Singapore, eyebrows were raised.

Was Disney+ launching in Singapore with a telco and cable TV operator? Does it mean it won’t be a standalone service? Do you have to sign up for StarHub to get Disney+?

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The answer is no, but we know why many readers felt this way.

After all, one only needs to look back at the past decade to understand how content exclusivity didn’t quite work in the customer’s favour. We’re pretty sure fans of the English Premier League would have much to add when StarHub and Singtel fought over content rights and exclusivity, and drove prices up, much to the chagrin of consumers.

But with Disney+ introduced as a direct to consumer product at its core, customers can rest assured that a direct subscription with the House of Mouse is still available, as some went to ask Disney+ about it.

So why did StarHub announce their “exclusive” deal with Disney+ and what does it exactly mean?

It just means that StarHub is the only telco that can resell Disney+ services to its consumers. Starhub hasn’t said what their prices for Disney+ is for, but we presume it means StarHub will be bundling its mobile, pay TV, and broadband services with Disney+, so you end up paying a little less, and have some cost savings

Compare this to other streaming services in Singapore such as Netflix and HBO GO, where both services are available for purchase via Singtel and Starhub.

In the case of Disney+ in Singapore, StarHub would be the only traditional TV operator offering the service for sale while a direct subscription with Disney themselves still remains.

So it doesn’t mean that StarHub has the rights to broadcast Disney+ content on StarHub TV separately (which is the funniest inaccurate assumption of the news we’ve read so far).

Thus, as we head into 23 February 2021 for the Disney+ launch in Singapore, StarHub customers should expect subscription deals from StarHub before that.

To sum it all up, StarHub’s “exclusive” deal is more about semantics and not much else. It just means Singtel can’t offer its customers the same deal. 

This is the way.