Disney Buys BAMTech, Plans Streaming Services 2

NORTH AMERICA–The Walt Disney Company has acquired a majority ownership of BAMTech, a technology service and video streaming company previously formed by Major League Baseball, with plans to launch its own ESPN- and Disney-branded streaming services.

April 6, 2018

Disney Buys BAMTech, Plans Streaming Services 2

ESPN- and Disney-branded streaming services are set to debut in early 2018 and 2019.

NORTH AMERICA–The Walt Disney Company has acquired a majority ownership of BAMTech, a technology service and video streaming company previously formed by Major League Baseball, with plans to launch its own ESPN- and Disney-branded streaming services.

Through the terms of the agreement, Disney will pay $1.58 billion to acquire an addition 42 percent stake in the company. Last August,

Disney acquired a 33 percent stake in the company

under an agreement that included an option to acquire a majority stake.

The transaction also includes the introduction of a ESPN-branded video streaming service, which will launch in early 2018, as well as a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service, which is set to debut in 2019.

Disney will end its distribution agreement for new releases with Netflix, choosing instead to make its content available exclusively on its own platforms, beginning with its 2019 theatrical slate.

The ESPN-branded service will offer a robust lineup of sports programming–including

roughly 10,000 live regional, national and international games and events a year for organizations such as Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis and college sports. Individual sports packages will also be available for purchase.

Meanwhile, The Disney-branded service will serve as the exclusive home in the U.S. for SVOD viewing of live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar, beginning with the 2019 theatrical lineup that includes

Toy Story 4

, the sequel to

Frozen

and more. The service will also showcase a slate or original movies, TV shows and short-form content from Disney, Pixar, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD.

“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,” says Robert Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, Disney. “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 provies us to leverage the strength of our great brands.”

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