AceShowbiz - The Waltz Disney Company announced today (August 8) that it has agreed to acquire major ownership of BAMTech, LLC and will launch its ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service in early 2018. It will be followed by a new Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019.
"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," Disney chief Bob Iger said in a statement.
He continued, "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."
All of the company's content will eventually be pulled from Netflix. The new platform will be the exclusive home for subscription streaming of Disney and Pixar movies, beginning with the 2019 theatrical slate that includes "Toy Story 4", "Frozen 2" and the live-action "The Lion King (2019)".
Disney-produced shows like the Marvel franchises, though, will continue to air on Netflix in the future. The company will be spending a "significant" amount to invest in exclusive content for the new streaming service. After Disney announced the news, stock in Netflix dropped more than 5|percent|.