Disney is Leaving Netflix to Start Its Own Streaming Service

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 10, 2017

"The advent of streaming services now allows these same content companies to reach consumers more cheaply than before and in the knowledge that consumers are willing to pay for streaming services", writes Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker on the news this morning.

Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger may have said it all when he boasted, "No one is better positioned to lead the industry into this dynamic new era". "Video is proving to be a battleground for all providers". "It is inevitable as other content and media owners will want to differentiate their own offerings over rivals", he said. Over time, MLB's online arm began servicing non-sports businesses, including HBO and Twitter. Disney previously acquired a 33 percent stake in BAMTech under an agreement that included an option to acquire a majority stake over several years, and today's announcement marks an acceleration of that timetable for controlling ownership.

Disney is also set to launch an ESPN-branded streaming service in the U.S. early next year.

Walt Disney Co said on Aug 8 that it is launching two new streaming television services, including one for its ESPN-branded sports channel, while ending its deal with Netflix as it shifts towards direct content distribution.

It's believed that Disney has yet to decide on how films from major studios like Marvel (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and Lucasfilm (Star Wars) will be distributed.

Disney CEO Bob Iger says they may not end up on his company's future streaming service, but we don't know if he means they'll appear on something else owned by Disney, or be licensed to other companies such as Netflix. This is a good thing for Netflix's mature-flavored Marvel shows, which would be a mismatched fit on what we're assuming is a family-marketed stream. After that, however, everything belonging to Disney and Pixar will ultimately vanish from your Netflix experience.

Disney will also make original movies and shows for the service, which isn't named yet.

Michael Browne, a fund manager at Martin Currie, criticized Disney for getting into streaming very late in the game, and described the breakup with Netflix as "probably arrogant". "I think this part of the deal likely goes longer because they need the reach". Disney said that John Skipper, ESPN president and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, will manage the new ESPN-branded service. "As such, finding replacement content will be hard, if not impossible, and potentially very expensive as well".

Disney already has a branded SVOD service in the UK, Disney Life.

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