Disney has made the decision to drop Netflix’s streaming services and create their own. They won’t be just streaming their TV shows and movies but also sports. This announcement came Tuesday, the same day that the company reported bad third-quarter fiscal earnings. Right now, they are still in the midst of the third-quarter (the fourth-quarter starts in October), so it could be that they are jumping the gun. Yet, Disney has a tendency of remaining above water for the most part, so this decision to separate from Netflix must be warranted.
CEO Bob Iger told analysts that these new streaming services will give Disney “much greater control over our own destiny in a rapidly changing market.” Iger wants Disney to continue to grow, not remain stagnant. With hopes of doing this, the company will enter into an outlet of entertainment that has been continually growing since the dawn of Netflix.
Disney will create a separate streaming service for sports, as one category, and movies and TV, as another category. The sports streaming service will be under the ESPN name and will be available next year. The package will include over 10,000 sporting events from the MLB, NHL, FIFA, NCAA, and the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) through the ESPN mobile app.
While this partnership with ESPN is a strong move on Disney’s part, one analyst, Brian Weiser, pointed out that, “Disney will have to be careful that it doesn’t transfer too much sports programming from its TV channels to the app. Getting the balance wrong could upset cable companies and weigh on the price they pay Disney for ESPN.”
The movies and TV streaming service will be usable in 2019. The service will provide users with original content developed by Walt Disney Studios. I know most people will be asking: “What about Marvel and the Star Wars franchises?” Marvel and Disney partnered up a few years back and have been releasing movies such as Captain America: Civil War, Thor, The Avengers and shows such as Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones onto Netflix. The movies were previously released in theaters, but these Marvel shows were released exclusively on Netflix.
In regards to Marvel and Star Wars, the company has reportedly not decided yet on where it will distribute future titles bearing the Marvel and Star Wars name. Although this is the case, Reuters reported that “U.S. Netflix members will have access to Disney films on the service through the end of 2019, including all new films that are shown theatrically through the end of 2018.”
Let’s just hope that everybody’s favorite superheroes and galactic rebels don’t get shafted in the transformation. I would especially hate to see shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones be without a home in the future. Netflix may play a pivotal role in Marvel’s entertainment, but, now that Disney has made the decision to create their own streaming services, we’ll have to see what role Marvel has within these new services.