And like CBS, the ultimate goal is to make this a worldwide service, though for now the focus appears to be on launching an initial service in the U.S. market. It was a nice fantasy, but it completely ignored one critical fact: Neither cable companies nor entertainment titans were going to swap billions of dollars in revenue from cable subscriptions for pennies on the dollar from streaming services. He left the door open to continuing to license them to a partner like Netflix, but not necessarily Netflix, or for the company to start streaming services specifically for those properties. The company is now paying out over $1.5 billion to own 75% of Bamtech - the video distribution company created by Major League Baseball that is working on building both streaming services. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
The Walt Disney Co. has finally given in to the streaming shift that has completely altered the media landscape in the last few years and battered the company's world-wide leader in sports programming, ESPN.
It's also available on your TV too if you use Chromecast or Apple TV.
Exclusive treats from Pixar will also be included in the mix. It plans to launch an ESPN-branded sports streaming service in 2018, with a general consumer service following the year later.
The new platform will premiere in time for Toy Story 4, the sequel to Frozen and a live-action remake of The Lion King, the company said in a statement.
Aside from offering all their latest releases as well as the back catalogue of all Disney movies, you will also be able to watch Pixar movies and if you like their TV shows, content from Disney XD and the Disney Channel. According to Iger, "the profitability, the revenue generating capability of this initiative is substantially greater than the business models we're now being served by".
If Disney's direct-to-consumer platforms are successful, Greenfield anticipates that will accelerate ESPN's demise.
But Disney will encounter new hurdles selling directly to consumers.
Disney chairman and chief executive Robert A. Iger said that the company would also be investing heavily in original content and would be looking to roll-out the service globally in certain markets.
"I have to confess my children are great users of Netflix ..."
Hulu, founded 10 years ago, has always been a consistent competitor to Netflix albeit with a content strategy based more on traditional television. But having this many creates a problem for the average consumer.
"Disney's announcement was light on details and did not sound terribly well hashed out".
Honestly, this is getting pretty frustrating.