Disney leaving Netflix to start its own streaming service

Disney's plan for ESPN is shrouded in uncertainty

They also revealed that they will be launching an ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service next year and then their own Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service the year after that.

But Disney's earnings last night finally made my trade a winner-and confirmed a number of points I raised. The company also has a service called Disney Movies Anywhere for those who purchase physical copies of films or connect with partnered content providers. We're excited by this change and see it as an important logical way for us to take advantage of the combination of our strong brands with the technological evolution the entire media business is undergoing. It's been clear to us for a while with the future of this industry will be forged by direct relationships between content creators and consumers.

This is part of their other major announcement which is that they are now the majority owner of BAMTech, LLC which will enable them to launch their own video streaming on demand services later on.

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Disney has some experience with the direct-to-consumer model in Britain and could make more money in the long run from its own service, but the move could be "financially less advantageous" in the near term, said Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser.

The new ESPN service will air some 10,000 events a year, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and college sports.

The new Disney-branded service will become the exclusive home in the USA for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar, beginning with the 2019 theatrical slate, which includes Toy Story 4, the sequel to Frozen, and The Lion King from Disney live-action.

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Users will be able to stream Disney and Pixar movies, Disney channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD content, as well as original movies and television shows. Disney will draw on its own content from its film and television catalog for its consumer channel, and offer a sports service which could fill a gap by delivering live sporting events.

The change of heart comes as Disney sees a need to take the industry, now dominated by Netflix, head-on. Enter BAMTech. Last year Disney pumped $1 billion into the company that now powers its ESPN streaming app.

This sounds pretty aggravating, and the latest step in the breakdown of what made consumers abandon physical media for streaming in the first place - the wide selection. Disney upped their interest in BAMTech to 75% from 33%, with a $1.6 billion investment. Iger added that if they have a control of a platform they have been very impressed with, this will also give them the way to control their destiny.

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