It seems like just a short while ago that Disney and Netflix struck an exclusive deal which allowed Netflix to offer Disney movies just shortly after they were released on home video. Case in point, Netflix already has recent hits like ‘Moana’, ‘Finding Dory’, ‘Zootopia’, ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Pete’s Dragon’ and ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’. And for some of us, the fact that they offered nearly every Disney Channel Original Movie was pretty exciting too!
But no more.
Disney has announced that it will invest an additional $1.58 billion into BAMTech, a company that it is already partially invested in, which is majority owned by the MLB. Disney will acquire an additional 42% and will use it to launch– yes– it’s own streaming service. This new service will launch in 2019.
CEO Bob Iger stated that all movies branded Disney or Pixar would go exclusively to this new service, which will also, like Netflix, et. al., feature original material.
In addition to the mainstream Disney and Pixar movies, subscribers have benefited from getting newer movies from its subsidiaries Marvel and Lucasfilm. Within a month of home video release, films like ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘Doctor Strange’ and ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ became available to stream on Netflix. It is unclear at this point if these types of films will be impacted, but it would only make sense for Disney.
But it’s unclear. The example given is that 2019 films could wind up on either network. ‘Frozen 2’ would most likely end up on the new Disney service, while ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ could go to Netflix. It’s unclear at this point.
(Also where does that leave the Marvel/Netflix collaborations, ‘The Defenders’, etc.?)
But while that decision hasn’t been made, the decision for Disney to sever from Netflix is a done deal.
On a side note, Disney also has a deal in place with Hulu which currently airs, among others, ‘Pocahontas’ and ‘Mulan’. (Eh…’Mulan 2′ is on Netflix.)
This decision stems partially from the fact that ‘Rogue One’ was neither as successful in theaters or home video as ‘The Force Awakens’ was last year… which everyone should have known in advance.
But the HUGEST issue is Disney’s ownership of ESPN, a network that is rapidly hemorrhaging viewers and employees, losing billions year over year. Strangely, Disney announced plans for an ESPN streaming service to launch in 2018. Is it possible that ESPN may go strictly to a pay service?
Frankly I don’t care what they do with ESPN, but if that’s the reason that Disney is getting greedy with its other entertainment, it just makes this last-kid-picked hate sports even more.
Disney’s announced service joins CBS All Access, the exclusive home of ‘Star Trek Discovery, and the unnamed Warner Brothers/DC Comics streaming service which will offer the third season of ‘Young Justice’ and a new live action ‘Titans’ series.
How many streaming services are you willing to shell out for?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter