Disney is Launching a $1 Billion Streaming Service

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Disney is officially entering the streaming business, with the company having purchased a $1 billion stake in streaming company BAM Tech, with plans to eventually launch a subscription service similar to Netflix.

The House of Mouse will own a one-third stake in BAM Tech as a result of the acquisition, though if you were worried that this would eventually mean that Disney movies would eventually slip away from current streaming services then not to worry – Disney is instead planning to create a sports-focused service that will carry the ESPN branding. However, despite boasting the brand name the upcoming service will not carry ESPN, due to the channel making a lot of money for Disney with cable and satellite providers.

Disney-Streaming-ESPN

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In a statement published on Business Wire, Disney’s Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger said: “Our investment in BAMTech gives us the technology infrastructure we need to quickly scale and monetize our streaming capabilities at ESPN and across our company. We look forward to working closely with BAMTech as we explore new ways to deliver the unmatched content of The Walt Disney Company across a variety of platforms.”

The streaming service will feature multi-sport coverage, with it set to include live broadcasts of regional, national and international events. It will require a subscription fee to access, with Disney set to reveal more information about it in the coming months.

Disney believes that an early investment with BAM Tech will open up the doors for a majority stake further down the road, further showing how serious the company is when it comes to entering the streaming game. It remains to be seen whether or not they eventually plan to launch streaming platforms that branch away from sports and focus on their other properties, from Pixar through to Marvel and Star Wars, but judging from this bank-busting acquisition it certainly seems like the company could be headed in that direction.