We first broke the story when Disney opened up their quarterly report conference call, now it’s time to reveal the details.
Disney is diving into the streaming world, creating their own service featuring ABC and Disney content with a projected 2019 launch date.
With that being said, Disney will be pulling out of their deal with Netflix once the service is up and running– meaning Disney content will no longer be available on Netflix (aside from Netflix originals).
CEO Robert Iger said Disney is considering whether it should continue licensing Marvel and Star Wars movies to outside services like Netflix, move them into the Disney app or develop individual services for them.
Starting in 2019, the only subscription streaming service with new animated and live-action Disney and Pixar movies will be the Magic Kingdom’s own app. That will include Toy Story 4 and the sequel to the huge hit Frozen. Older movies will be there too, as well as shows from the TV channels Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD, and original TV and films. That could be hugely attractive for families with young children in the U.S.
The Disney service will be available in “multiple markets” outside the U.S. as well, taking advantage of Disney’s global name recognition.
Disney had already said it would be launching a streaming ESPN service, not meant to compete with any TV channels.
The sports service is coming in early 2018, a little later than previously announced, and will air baseball, hockey and soccer games, tennis matches and college sports through ESPN’s popular mobile app. Notably, ESPN will not be streaming pro football or basketball, at least initially.
Customers will also be able to buy fuller streaming packages from the baseball, hockey and soccer leagues, and watch them on the ESPN app.
“Ultimately, we envision this will become a dynamic sports marketplace that will grow and be increasingly customizable, allowing sports fans to pick and choose content that reflects their personal interests,” – Bob Iger, CEO
In order to roll out its streaming services, The Walt Disney Co. will take majority control of BAMTech, a streaming arm of Major League Baseball spun off last year from Baseball Advanced Media, for $1.58 billion. When the deal closes, Disney will own 75 percent of BAM Tech, up from the 33 percent stake it acquired for $1 billion as part of an agreement announced last year.
Final recap: Disney’s streaming service will launch in 2019, ESPN’s streaming service will launch in 2018.