Disney is outsourcing its DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray work to Sony in the US

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A new deal between Disney and Sony might just unlock Disney’s DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray output at last.

One of the biggest frustrations in the world of physical media at the moment is that Disney is sitting on an incredible catalogue of films – including the many it bought when it purchased 20th Century Fox – and is doing next to nothing with them.

If a title isn’t deemed worthy to put on the Disney+ service, then it seems the studio has little inclination to do anything. Its disc output has been sacrificed on the altar of streaming services too.

Thus, developments in the US might just be on the positive side. The Digital Bits is reporting that Disney has now inked a deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, that’ll see the latter basically taking over Disney’s physical media work entirely. Note that this is a US-only deal, and I’m coming back to that in a second.

Sony – which has financial skin in the Blu-ray format – has been far more prolific at supporting physical media releases, and the new agreement means that there’s a strong chance Disney’s archive is going to be properly mined for new and catalogue releases.  The first title that’s going to be part of the new agreement is The First Omen, which is heading to cinemas just after Easter.

In the UK, things are a little more complex. Sony has outsourced its UK physical media distribution to Elevation Sales, and thus whilst the output has remained constant, it’s difficult to see where this Disney deal could fit in.

Furthermore, there are parts of the world where Disney has exited the physical media business, and that decision is unlikely to be reversed.

Still: if this leads to physical media releases of Disney catalogue titles, then the hope is that they’ll make it elsewhere on the planet too. And given Disney’s current disinterest in DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, this all has to be a welcome step forward.

More as we hear it.

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