Disney to launch streaming services; pulls out of Netflix

Disney is leaping into the streaming video business in two big ways—and neither Netflix subscribers nor its investors are likely to be happy about it, the TIME reports.


On Tuesday during its earnings report, Disney announced that it will stop showing its movies on Netflix and instead launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming service. Disney also said that in early 2018 it will be introducing an online-only version of ESPN that will include content from college sports, Grand Slam tennis events, MLB, and the NHL – although, apparently, it won’t have any NFL action.

Philadelphia, PA, USA – November 27, 2014: Disney’s Mickey and Mini Mouse participate in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. Photo TIME

In 2016, Netflix said that it would be the exclusive streaming service for Disney movies—including Disney titles, as well as releases from Disney-owned brands Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. But that deal will be ending, and starting in 2019, Disney will load up its own forthcoming streaming service with movies from its extensive film catalog as well as other Disney programming.


Also on Tuesday, Disney also announced the purchase of a majority stake in video-streaming company that is expected to help it jumpstart its new streaming service. Yet the company didn’t clarify many other details of the service—including what it will be called, how much it costs, and the exact date of its launch. For that reason, it’s probably a good idea to binge any of the Disney content you like on Netflix while you still have the chance.


The move could affect investors as well, with Netflix shares falling 4% soon after Disney made its announcement. Disney’s breakup with Netflix comes just one day after Netflix made its first acquisition, when it bought Millarworld, the comic book company headed by Mark Millar, the creative force behind franchises such as Kingsman, Kick-A-s, Logan, and Captain America: Civil War.



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