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How Disney Wants to Take On Netflix With Its Own Streaming Services

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How Disney Wants to Take On Netflix With Its Own Streaming Services

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:26 pm

Story :

The Walt Disney Company, under pressure to address threats to its vast television business, unveiled its answer on Tuesday: two Netflix-style streaming services.

“I would characterize this as an extremely important, very, very significant strategic shift for us,” Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, told analysts on a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings. Underscoring the need for Mr. Iger to reposition his company for growth, Disney reported a slight decline in revenue and a 9 percent drop in net income.

The two still-unnamed streaming services — one built around sports programming from ESPN, the other on Disney and Pixar movies and television shows — will be powered by BamTech, a technology company that handles direct-to-consumer video for baseball teams and HBO, among others. Disney paid $1 billion a year ago for a 33 percent stake in BamTech. On Tuesday, Mr. Iger announced that Disney had accelerated an option to spend $1.58 billion for an additional 42 percent share.

Disney’s move online could put the company in conflict with Netflix, which will lose access to new Disney and Pixar films, and with cable providers, which pay Disney handsomely for the right to distribute ESPN and other channels. Mr. Iger said Disney had not yet talked to cable providers. He added, however, that he had “all the confidence in the world” in Disney’s ability to maintain favorable deals with them.

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