Disney pulls streaming content of Christmas films in run up to holiday season
By Evan Dashevsky
TechHiveDec 16, 2013 10:09 am PST
There appears to be some grinching going on the media streaming sphere. BoingBoing reported on the case of “Bill” who found that he was no longer able to stream the Christmas-themed Disney TV special Prep & Landing on Amazon.
Instead, Bill was met with a message that the movie was currently unavailable due to licensing agreements. While Bill’s kids may have been frustrated that they could not watch their favorite holiday movie, the really frustrating part of the story is that Bill had purchased this film from Amazon.
Before you get out the pitchforks, an Amazon rep responding to our request for comment stated over email that “Customers should never lose access to their Amazon Instant Video purchases” and went on to chalk Bill’s issue up to a temporary technical issue that has since been fixed.
The rep recommended that customers who lose streaming access to films they have purchased should contact Amazon customer service.
But unrelated from the technical glitch, the potentially more interesting angle is why Disney may have made the decision to halt the streaming of certain beloved Christmas movies in the walk-up to the Christmas season. (Hint: it also happens to be the season when millions of little eyeballs will off of school and looking for something to keep them entertained.)
BoingBoing reported that Amazon commented that “[Disney] pulled that show for exclusivity on its own channel.”
Indeed, a search on locateTV.com finds that Prep & Landing will air on the Disney-owned ABC network on December 16 and Disney’s ABC Family channel on the 17th. Another Disney film no longer available for streaming is The Muppet Christmas Carol, which, it just so happens will air on ABC Family on Christmas morning
We should also note that Beauty And The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas also got the steaming kibosh on Amazon, though it doesn’t appear that Disney has any plans to air this film any time before the end of the month.
We have reached out to Disney for comment and will update with any response.