Disney and Pixar movies will be available on Netflix US until the end of 2018 after which Disney intends to remove them to launch its own streaming service. The company will also launch an ESPN streaming service in early 2018.
Disney streaming service
Disney and Netflix struck a major deal back in 2012 and Netflix started exclusively offering – in the US – content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm in September 2016. Disney has now decided to end the partnership.
The news was announced during the company earnings report and reported by CNBC. Netflix confirmed that it will remove all Disney and Pixar movies by 2019. Marvel TV shows will remain.
Disney is planning to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019 in the US and expanding globally. CEO Bob Iger said that the platform will offer all Disney movies going forward, starting with major titles such as ‘Toy Story 4’, ‘Frozen 2’, and ‘The Lion King’.
Furthermore, Disney will make significant investments in exclusive movies and TV series that will be made available on its platform.
ESPN streaming service in early 2018
In addition, Disney will launch an ESPN streaming service in early 2018. It will offer about “10,000 sporting events” per year from major leagues such as MLB, NHL, MLS, and Grand Slam.
The new streaming platforms will be based on streaming technology from BAM Tech. The company announced that it has acquired a majority stake in the company for $1.58 billion dollars. Disney made its first investment in BAM Tech in 2016 where it acquired a 33 percent stake.
- "This represents a big strategic shift for the company," Bob Iger told CNBC.
Disney’s streaming plans represent a major shift for the company. By cutting out the middle-man, Disney will in the future have to compete head-to-head with companies such as former partner Netflix.
- “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.” said Bob Iger.