The Walt Disney Company has announced that its popular Disney+ streaming service will launch in South Africa.
In a Q3 2021 earnings call on Thursday (12 August), the group said that South Africa will be included in the next country rollout which will take place in ‘summer 2022’ (northern hemisphere).
A spokesperson for Disney confirmed that this means the service will launch in South Africa in the southern hemisphere winter 2022. The spokesperson confirmed that further information, including pricing, will be confirmed closer to launch.
“As confirmed in The Walt Disney Company’s Q3 Earnings Call, Disney+ will launch in South Africa in winter 2022. We will share more details as we approach the launch next year,” the spokesperson said.
In its Q3 results, Disney+ grew to 116 million subscribers in the third quarter ended 3 July, beating the 113.1 million that analysts expected.
With its theme parks back open after the Covid-19 shutdown, Disney said late Thursday earnings rose to 80 US cents a share, excluding some items, beating the 55 cents analysts estimated.
The results show the world’s largest entertainment company is rebounding from the pandemic, which shuttered its resorts around the world, idled its cruise ships and crimped attendance at movie theatres.
Chief executive officer Bob Chapek said theme-park reservations are running ahead of the just-ended period, despite the delta variant of Covid-19.
Disney expects to be fully staffed at its resorts by year-end, after tens of thousands of layoffs in 2020.
“The fact that you’re seeing bookings as strong as they are is an indication of the core reason you want to own Disney,” said Markus Hansen, a portfolio manager at Vontobel Asset Management Inc.
Disney shares rose as much as 5.9% to $189.88 in after-market trading. They lost 1% this year through the close Thursday in New York, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500.
The company’s direct-to-consumer unit – the home of its streaming business – narrowed its loss in the quarter, due to improved results at the Hulu online service.
Meanwhile, movies released online, such as “Cruella” and “Luca,” as well as new TV shows from the Marvel superhero factory, drove customers to Disney+.
With further reporting by Bloomberg.