The Walt Disney Company has announced that it’ll soon be removing all of its content from Netflix in favour of its own standalone streaming service to launch in 2019.
The news comes as part of Disney’s announcement that it has acquired a majority ownership of BAMTech, LLC, as well as plans to launch an ESPN-branded video streaming service in 2018. Disney will pay $1.58 billion to acquire an additional 42% stake in BAMTech, a company that offers direct-to-consumer streaming technology, among other things.
The ESPN streaming service, that’ll arrive first, will be part of the already existing ESPN app and will offer an array of sports coverage with around 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events per year across all sports. Individual sports packages will also be purchasable too.
As for Disney, this new service will become the home for Disney content for the US and will offer subscription-based on-demand viewing of all of the company’s latest movies from Disney and Pixar. This will begin with the 2019 release slate which includes Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and Disney’s live-action Lion King. The service will also include all of the company’s back catalog including Disney and Pixar movies, as well as Disney Channel, Disney Juniors, and Disney XD programming.
Because of this, Disney will end its agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of its new releases. This will begin with the 2019 calendar year. Disney has yet to reveal whether this will include Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios, though an announcement is due at a later date.
Of course, this news has left many people with a bitter taste in their mouths, especially the cord-cutting generation who opt to purchase subscriptions to Netflix or other services to avoid the high cost of cable packages. The issue here is that as companies branch off and launch their own services, the cost of subscribing to multiple works out the same price as cable TV.