On Tuesday, Disney dropped a bomb on the media world with the announcement that they are pulling their content off Netflix and starting their own OTT service.
Disney announced the purchase of a majority stake in BAMTech, the technology, data analytics, commerce management and streaming technology producing component of MLB Advanced Media.
The deal – in which Disney buys an additional 42 percent of BAMTech for $1.58 billion – is significant on a number of levels. Disney, the parent company of ESPN and ABC and owner to the Star Wars franchise among other significant media properties, pulling out of Netflix is a huge loss for Netflix.
It also opens the door for NHL games to return to ESPN. The NHL and MLB are still minority owners of BAMTech; BAMTech has been managing the NHL’s website and media.
But not necessarily on traditional television.
Another secondary impact of Disney/BAMTech deal – the NHL now back on ESPN. NHL games will be on the forthcoming ESPN-branded OTT network.
— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) August 8, 2017
From Disney’s release:
“The ESPN-branded multi-sport service will offer a robust array of sports programming, featuring approximately 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and college sports. Individual sport packages will also be available for purchase, including MLB.TV, NHL.TV and MLS Live.”
Disney previously bought a 33 percent stake in BAMTech.