Published Aug 08, 2017If you're feeling overwhelmed with the amount of streaming services to choose from, Disney is adding one more to your roster come 2019.
The Walt Disney Company announced plans today (August 8) to acquire majority ownership of Major League Baseball's video streaming company BAMTech, laying the plans to launch an ESPN-branded multi-sport service next year, in addition to a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer service two years from now.
The Disney-branded service will see the company axing its current distribution deal with Netflix beginning with its 2019 calendar year theatrical slate. As the company outlined in a statement, the service will stand as "the exclusive home in the U.S. for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar," whose forthcoming titles include Toy Story 4, the live-action Lion King film and a sequel to Frozen.
The statement notes that "Disney will also make a significant investment in an annual slate of original movies, TV shows, short-form content and other Disney-branded exclusives for the service," in addition to hosting "a vast collection of library content, including Disney and Pixar movies and Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD television programming."
Meanwhile, the ESPN-branded sport service is said to 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," with individual sport packages available for purchase.
The deal will see Disney will pay $1.58 billion USD for an additional 42 percent stake in BAMTech from MLB Advanced Media, after they acquired a 33 percent stake for $1 billion USD last year with the option to acquire a majority stake over several years.