Disney ends Netflix deal and launches own streaming services
Disney ends Netflix deal, while announcing the acquisition of BAMTech, a video streaming company.
Disney announced on August 8, at a quarterly earnings conference, that it will terminate the distribution agreement it has signed with Netflix from 2019 and that Disney and ESPN streaming services will be available in authorized app stores and MVPDs.
Disney and Netflix divorce
In 2016, Netflix and Disney announced an agreement in which the video streaming company would have exclusive rights to distribute Disney content, such as the brand titles and those with the Star Wars and Pixar labels.
Despite announcing the end of this relationship, both Netflix and Disney itself said they will continue to negotiate and will maintain business relationships. There is still a contract that connects Netflix to Marvel TV (belonging to Disney).
Disney and BAMTech deepen relationship
The basis for this announcement is the decision by Disney to acquire majority ownership of BAMTech, a leading global concern offering direct-to-consumer streaming technology and marketing, data analysis and commerce management services, partially owned by Major League Baseball. The deal cost $ 1.58 billion and enabled Disney to increase its stake from 33% to 75%.
According to Disney, these decisions arose after an internal discussion about how the company should build a stronger connection with its fan-base and provide more direct and useful communications channels to fans.
The changing media landscape
Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, explains what is behind this strategic shift in a press release: "The media landscape is increasingly defined by direct relationships between content creators and consumers, and our control of BAMTech's full array of innovative technology will give us the power to forge those connections, along with the flexibility to quickly adapt to shifts in the market."
In addition, "This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the Company, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands. "
What is to come?
With this shift came a number of uncertainties and decisions, which will change the way any user will see ESPN and Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel movies:
- An ESPN-branded streaming service will be released next year that will allow users to choose between specific sports leagues and games, as well as events that will not be broadcast on regular ESPN channels.
- A service that will stream original Disney and Pixar movies and series, as well as older products, starting in 2019, is in the works.
- It remains to be determined what will be done with the Marvel and Lucasfilm / Star Wars licenses: add to the Disney-branded streaming service, or stick with traditional third-party licensing deals.
The next year will be full of novelties for ESPN and Disney fans, and for their set-top boxes as well… Are you looking forward to the next ESPN and Disney branded streaming apps?