Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Disney to end distribution deal with Netflix, start own streaming service

Disney to end distribution deal with Netflix, start own streaming service

Disney has revealed this week during its latest earnings reports that it has plans to stop its partnership with Netflix to focus on its own streaming service.

It was only May of a year ago that the Entertainment Giant announced their exclusive partnership with Netflix.

Also not clear: Disney has yet to decide if the service will include Star Wars or Marvel content, but Disney could potentially start another service for those or sell the rights to a third-party, like Netflix.

Chief executive Bob Iger said: "This represents a big strategic shift for the company".

But what's even more telling about the scale of Disney's streaming ambitions is the fact that the company now plans to end its distribution agreement with Netflix.

It's unclear at this time how much Disney's newly announced streaming services will cost, but these projects sound pretty exciting. Star Wars and Marvel movies in the future could be on the Disney service exclusively, could not be there at all or could be there as well as on other services. I'm sure that the powers that be over at Netflix are probably thinking "well isn't that just Supercalifragilisticexpiaslidocious". Disney already owned a stake in BAMTech but will pay $1.58 billion for an additional 42 percent.

The new ESPN service will feature about 10,000 live games and events per year from Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and others, Disney said. The service will only exist in the USA, at least for the time being, though the DisneyLife streaming service already exists in the UK.

Disney also promised to make "a significant investment" in producing original movies, TV shows and short-form content for the new service. Many people were confused by this because ESPN is mainly focused on sports, but Disney announced that it will have a special section within the app. Then, starting in 2019, a brand new Disney streaming platform will be available with plenty of Disney and Pixar content, including the upcoming Frozen 2, live-action The Lion King, and Toy Story 4. No specific mention was made of these properties, but it's very likely Disney will want to shift them to its own platform.

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