Everything We Know About Disney's New Streaming Services

In a surprise twist earlier this month, alongside its third-quarter earnings report Walt Disney announced plans for new streaming services. The new services, which will be enabled by an acquisition of direct-to-consumer streaming technology company BAMTech, will launch in 2018 and 2019.

While there are still lots of questions about Disney’s upcoming streaming services, management has said enough for investors to start considering the potential implications of this strategic move. Here’s a look at what we know so far.



–  Subscribe to the TalkDisney Newsletter  – 
email address:     

While there are still lots of questions about Disney’s upcoming streaming services, management has said enough for investors to start considering the potential implications of this strategic move. Here’s a look at what we know so far.

6Two Streaming Services

Disney plans to launch two direct-to-consumer streaming services — an ESPN-branded multi-sport video service and a Disney-branded service.

ESPN: Interestingly, the ESPN-branded multi-sport service will not migrate programming from pay TV services. While customers using the app will be able to access direct streams from ESPN channels bundled with their pay TV services, the stand-alone aspects of the new streaming service will essentially be a one-stop shop for scores, news, highlights, and additional sports products beyond those streamed on pay TV, including 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events every year.

Disney: The Disney-branded streaming service, on the other hand, will “become the exclusive home in the U.S. for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar,” the company said in a press release about its plans for the service. In addition, the service will also include the company’s library of previously released Disney and Pixar movies and television programming from Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD.

5The ESPN streaming service will launch first.

Disney’s ESPN service will launch in “early 2018,” Disney said.

4A Disney-branded streaming service will launch in 2019.

More specifically, Disney CEO Bob Iger said during the company’s earnings call that its Disney-branded streaming service will launch in the U.S. “in the latter part of 2019.”

3Pay TV subscribers will be able to access the ESPN streaming service.

Even though Disney’s ESPN streaming service will feature additional content and a new experience outside of the linear ESPN channels bundled with pay TV, Disney plans to include access to the service with pay TV bundles that include ESPN.

2Disney will end its distribution agreement with Netflix in 2019.

Don’t expect to see the sequel to Frozen, the live-action version of The Lion King, or Toy Story 4 on Netflix. To help bolster its Disney streaming service, the company said it is ending its distribution agreement with Netflix for streaming of new releases from 2019 forward.

1Expect more original content from Disney.

Disney wants to take its original content to the next level. To help strengthen its new streaming service, the company said it plans to make “a significant investment in an annual slate of original movies, TV shows, short-form content and other Disney-branded exclusives for the service.”