Disney+ is slashing its bandwidth utilization by 25% in European markets where the service will debut on March 24, the steaming service announced Saturday.
Walt Disney Co. chairman of direct-to-consumer & international Kevin Mayer released a statement explaining that the move is a response to a European Union government request that streamers switch from high definition to standard definition. Hopefully, the move will prevent the continent’s internet infrastructure from crashing, as millions of people stay home amid the coronavirus spread.
“In line with Disney’s longstanding commitment to act responsibly, we are responding to the request of European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure,” Mayer said.
“In the coming days, we will be monitoring Internet congestion and working closely with Internet service providers to further reduce bitrates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand,” he added. “We look forward to the launch of Disney+ and hope it will provide a much-needed respite for families in these challenging and trying times.”
Disney+ is also delaying its launch in France until April 7.
“To our French fans, the Disney+ service is coming,” Mayer said, “but at the request of the French government, we have agreed to postpone the launch until Tuesday, 7 April 2020.”
The move comes two days after a similar action by Netflix.