The days of the Netflix binge could be under serious threat with studio giant Disney announcing plans to launch its own streaming service by 2019.
For the uninitiated, Disney owns Marvel who also owns some of Netflix’s most popular titles including Captain America, The Avengers, Daredevil, The Defenders, Luke Cage and many more in its current screening portfolio.
Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC that while their company had a “good relationship” with Netflix, Disney is going ahead with exploring their options without the service.
He also confirmed that the Marvel films will stay on Netflix until the end of 2018 whilst the popular shows will remain until further notice. The announcement comes as a $1.48 billion acquisition deal which sees Disney owning 42 percent of BAMTech, a company which falls under the Major League Baseball group. Disney already owns a 33 percent stake in the company which it paid $1 billion for last year, making it a majority shareholder of BAMTech.
Part of the BAMTech service spearheaded by Disney will also be an ESPN-branded video streaming service which will arrive in the States in early 2018. That sports channel is tipped to feature up to 10,000 games and events a year including those from Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and college sports. Users will also be able to purchase individual sports packages from MLB.TV, NHL.TV and MLS Live.
“This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the company, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands,” the Disney Chairman said in a statement.
Netflix currently leads the way with 104 million global subscribers to its streaming service.