Disney has just announced plans to end its distribution agreement with Netflix in 2019, instead opting to launch its own streaming service sometime during that same year.
The announcement came as part of some takeover news: Disney is paying $1.48 billion to acquire another 42 percent of BAMTech — a company that exists under the Major League Baseball umbrella — in addition to the 33 percent stake it bought for $1 billion last year. This gives Disney the majority controlling stake of BAMTech.
The writing’s been on the wall for a while with this one.
BAMTech, which Disney has bought into and will (after regulatory approval) now own 75% of, streams every major sport on the planet. They’re a behemoth of the streaming world and will now turn their hand at streaming one of the world’s largest studios’ content.
Interestingly, as noted on Recode, Bob Iger (Disney CEO) has since commented that the new service will definitely encompass both upcoming and back-catalogue Disney & Pixar films but may not include sub-studio content from the likes of Marvel & the Star Wars franchise stating:
We’ve also thought about including Marvel and Star Wars as part of the Disney branded service, but there we want to be mindful of the Star Wars fan and the Marvel fan and to what extent those fans are either overlapped with Disney fans or they’re completely basically separate incremental to Disney fans. So it’s all in discussion