April 6, 2018
ESPN- and Disney-branded streaming services are set to debut in early 2018 and 2019.
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
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
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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