During their third quarter and nine months earning report, The Walt Disney Company announced that they would be pulling their content from Netflix and start their own streaming service in 2019.
“Today we announced a strategic shift in the way we distribute our content. The media landscape is increasingly defined by direct relationships between content creators and consumers, and our control of BAMTech’s full array of innovative technology will give us the power to forge those connections, along with the flexibility to quickly adapt to shifts in the market,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement. “This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the Company, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands.”
The Disney content will remain on Netflix through the end of 2018 but starting in 2019, the Disney and Pixar theatrical slates will be available on their new platform. Unknown at this time is what will happen to content from both Marvel and Lucasfilm. For now, the Marvel series on Netflix are expected to remain. To help further their investment, Disney is said to be making movies and television series that will be exclusive to the platform.
An ESPN streaming service is already being planned to launch in 2018. I don’t know if this will be a replacement for WatchESPN but it’s expected to include some 10,000 sporting events annually.