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Technology Disney and Starz are in a slap fight over the launch of Star+

03:30  11 june  2021
03:30  11 june  2021 Source:   theverge.com

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Disney will launch Star+ in Latin America in August, but Starz has filed complaints in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina alleging Disney is infringing on its brand identity and that the soon-to- launch service will only confuse consumers. Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company announced in May that its Star+ service would officially roll out to consumers at the end of August. At the time, Diego Lerner, president of The Walt Disney Company Latin America, said in a statement that the service would deliver “a never-before-seen customized experience.”

Starz wants Disney to change the name of its upcoming Latin America streaming service, Star+ . On Monday, the Lionsgate-owned network filed trademark infringement lawsuits against Disney in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. © TheWrap Starz is arguing that the name of Disney 's forthcoming streaming service is too similar with Starz , particularly its own streaming service StarzPlay, w

Disney is set to launch its standalone Star+ streaming service in Latin America in August, but Starz has filed complaints in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina alleging Disney is infringing on its brand identity and that the soon-to-launch service will only confuse consumers.

  Disney and Starz are in a slap fight over the launch of Star+

In an English language translation of the complaints seen by The Verge and previously reported by The Wrap, Starz argues that Disney’s “Star Plus” service — which will host content from Disney, FX, 20th Century Studios and National Geographic, as well as Star originals — sounds too phonetically similar to its own StarzPlay offering also available in the regions where it filed its complaints.

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Star (stylised as ST★R) is a content hub within the Disney + streaming service for television and film content intended for a mature audience.

A Disney spokesperson confirmed that the ad is part of a revised licensing deal with Starz that was made in order to have certain titles available on Disney + at launch . Customers will see a box prompting them to sign up for Starz , but there aren’t any ads within the actual Disney + or ESPN+ service once they sign in. Other entrants in the streaming space, such as WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal, are now finding themselves in a similar position, having to make new deals to collect streaming rights to the properties they’re famous for.

Starz, a premium cable offering and streaming app, has been operating under the name since the mid-1990s and now has a presence in 58 countries. Its own service, StarzPlay, has been available in Latin America since 2019. Disney’s Star — a service offered in international markets and nested within Disney Plus — officially launched in December. Star+, meanwhile, is set to launch as a single service offering in Latin America on August 31st.

Starz claims Disney’s “Star Plus” sounds too similar to its own StarzPlay service

“Both companies are currently direct competitors in the Mexican market, which causes an unfair competition to materialize, especially if it is considered that we are talking about the same services,” the complaint filed in Mexico states.

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Disney has dubbed it a “new general entertainment content brand” – think of it as a new channel within your Disney + account next to the existing options like Pixar, Marvel, Stars Wars and Nat Geo. “The Star brand will serve as home to thousands of hours of television and movies from Disney ’s creative studios, including Hulu comes in a bundle with Disney + in the US , so this new UK package is a great move for non-US customers. Disney also owns a huge back catalogue of content thanks to buying Fox. Fox is best known for series such as Fargo, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Americans and Atlanta

Disney has been trying to get streaming rights back from companies it previously licensed them to, including Starz and Netflix. This is why there are many movies missing from the Disney + launch line up such as Coco, The Last Jedi and Mary Poppins Returns. It’s important to note that the advert for Starz will only appear once upon signup. Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles.

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Starz said the company “had no choice but to defend its rights and attempt to forestall any further customer confusion by filing trademark infringement suits” in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina against Disney for its use of “Star” and various iterations of the service title.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company announced in May that its Star+ service would officially roll out to consumers at the end of August. At the time, Diego Lerner, president of The Walt Disney Company Latin America, said in a statement that the service would deliver “a never-before-seen customized experience.”

“The strength of the content, that will include all of ESPN, makes Star+ a unique and relevant offering with its own identity that will become a recognized digital service, independent from Disney Plus,” Lerner said. “Having said that, its arrival will represent a service that is complementary to Disney Plus and it will consolidate The Walt Disney Company’s presence in Latin America’s streaming market.”

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