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Disney to end distribution deal with Netflix, start own streaming service - nairrk - 08-10-2017

[Image: p9h3bbP.jpg]MUMBAI: In a significant development, Disney has decided to end its distribution agreement with Netflix for new movie releases and is planning to launch its own streaming service in 2019.

On 8 August, the company announced its plan to end its partnership with the streaming service in 2019.

The company also announced that it is buying majority stake in BAMTech, a streaming and marketing service, in a deal worth $1.58 billion. Last August, Disney acquired a 33% stake in BAMTech, which is a spinoff from Major League Baseball Advanced Media, for $1 billion.

The company announced the plans as part of reporting fiscal Q3 earnings. Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement, “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.”

Disney’s cable networks, such as ESPN, make up the majority of the company’s earnings. However, the subscribers and ad revenue has fallen in recent years as the way viewers consume entertainment has changed. The Q3 fiscal report mentioned 3% revenue decline in its cable networks group.

The media giant is planning to launch Netflix-style direct-to-consumer internet services for ESPN and Disney. The new streaming services are a way to connect directly with consumers and take advantage of new viewing habits. Disney said it will launch an ESPN-branded streaming service in 2018, and a separate Disney-branded streaming service in 2019.

The new Disney streaming service will be the only place where US viewers can watch new live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar, including ‘Toy Story 4,’ ‘Frozen’ sequel and ‘The Lion King’ live-action movie. It will also feature content from the Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD.

The ESPN-branded sports service will offer about 10,000 events a year, including live programming with regional, national and international games.

Marvel TV series like ‘Luke Cage,’ ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘The Punisher’ will continue to live on Netflix, for now. Animated series like ‘The Clone Wars’ will move to the Disney app. Existing movies from Disney and Pixar will remain on Netflix until their current deals expire.

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