Ahead of today’s Q3 2017 earnings call, The Walt Disney Company announced that it was spending $1.58 billion to increase their share in BAMTech from 33% to 75%. This will also give Disney control of the streaming technologies company. Disney proceeded to waste no time spelling out what this deal meant, saying that they planned to launch a Disney-branded streaming service in 2019. This service will offer releases from Disney and Pixar, including films and TV shows produced exclusively for the platform. As a result, Disney will be pulling their films from Netflix once their current deal expires ahead of the calendar year 2019 film slate.
In discussing the BAMTech deal and Disney’s future media plans, CEO Bob Iger said, “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. 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.”
During the earnings call itself, Iger noted that the company is still debating key details about the streaming service such as price. He also said there is currently no decision on whether Marvel or Lucasfilm titles will be included. In fact, he noted they may even opt to give those brands their own platforms.
How much would you be willing to pay for a streaming service with every Disney/Pixar movie and TV show past and present?
— LaughingPlace.com (@laughing_place) August 8, 2017
Lastly, Disney gave an update on their plans to update their ESPN app with premium content subscription options. The ESPN-branded multi-sport service will offer a robust array of sports programming, featuring approximately 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and college sports. Individual sport packages will also be available for purchase, including MLB.TV, NHL.TV and MLS Live, which can all be accessed via enhanced version of the current ESPN app.