During its earnings report this afternoon, Disney announced that it will cut ties with Netflix in favor of creating its own streaming service. Come 2019, Disney says that it will launch its own streaming service, while the long-awaited ESPN streaming service will launch in early 2018…
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Disney reached an exclusive partnership with Netflix last year to bring Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar movies to the streaming platform. In a press release today, however, Disney said this agreement will end with the 2019 calendar year theatrical slate, which includes films such as Toy Story 4 and the sequel to Frozen.
“With this strategic shift, Disney will end its distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new releases, beginning with the 2019 calendar year theatrical slate.”
Netflix, whose stock tanked nearly three percent on the news, had the following to say to Engadget:
“US Netflix members will have access to Disney films on the service through the end of 2019, including all new films that are shown theatrically through the end of 2018. We continue to do business with the Walt Disney Company globally on many fronts, including our ongoing relationship with Marvel TV.”
Disney’s streaming service will offer movies from the Disney library, much like its Netflix deal, as well as Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney X D films.
Meanwhile, the ESPN streaming platform will feature content from MLB, NHL, MLS, and collegiate events. Disney says the ESPN paltofmr will stream around 10,000 sport events per year, while it will also make it easy for users to purchase packages like MLB.TV as well.
Both the Disney and ESPN platforms will be available directly from the companies themselves, as well as from various app stores:
Plans are for the Disney and ESPN streaming services to be available for purchase directly from Disney and ESPN, in app stores, and from authorized MVPDs.
To help both upcoming streaming platforms, Disney also today announced that it will acquire another 42 percent of BAMTech, the streaming company from MLBAM, the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball. Disney will pay $1.58 billion for the stake, which comes following its $1 billion investment last year and gives it a majority ownership.
What do you think of Disney’s plans for a new Disney streaming platform and a new ESPN streaming platform? Let us know in the comments.