Disney with its robust library of IP intends to start its own streaming service in 2019 and pull its content from Netflix. CNBC was first to report this.
The company will also launch an ESPN OTT service that will include live sporting events in 2018.
“The new platform will be the home for all Disney movies going forward, starting with the 2019 theatrical slate which includes “Toy Story 4,” “Frozen 2,” and the upcoming live-action “The Lion King.” It will also be making a “significant investment” in exclusive movies and television series for the new platform.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the entertainment industry’s most recognizable and trusted brands would eventually take a piece of the streaming pie, but Disney’s announcement that they’ll pull their content from Netflix does come as a bit of a shock considering the relationship between the two companies.
In 2012, Disney agreed to a deal that sees all new films after Jan. 1, 2016 hit Netflix seven months after their theatrical release. In the geek space, Rogue One, Captain America: Civil War, and Doctor Strange are currently available to stream on Netflix. Those titles will remain on Netflix through the end of 2018.
Disney’s announcement raises questions about the company’s relationship with Netflix going forward, including how it could affect co-productions like the Marvel Studios/Netflix TV shows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Defenders, and more on the way. As of now, it appears that those shows will remain on Netflix, but it’s unclear if Disney will opt to renew their agreements for future seasons beyond what is currently contracted.
CNBC reports that to build out the streaming infrastructure, Disney is “buying a majority ownership of BAM Tech for $1.58 billion. Disney bought a 33 percent stake in the company, which was spun off from digital media company MLB Advanced Media, in August 2016.”
There are precious few details about Netflix and Disney’s streaming rights agreements, so we’ll see how long it takes Disney to pull its content from Netflix. This is likely a day Netflix saw coming, considering they’ve invested in original content at a tremendous clip to prepare for the blow that Disney is dealing their streaming library.