Disney is set to pull its content from Netflix. It has been confirmed that the studio will remove all of its movies from the service with the intention of providing both entertainment and sports content via two new streaming services of its own.
As reported by Bloomberg, an ESPN-branded service is set to arrive first in 2018, which the site reports will feature 10,000 live sports events a year. This will be followed by an entertainment service, which will take advantage the studio’s massive film library. As well as its classic animated films, Disney’s catalogue includes such hugely popular cinematic brands as Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel.
In a statement, Disney boss Bob Iger said, “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.”
Netflix responded to the reports, and explained in a statement that its content would remain on its service for another two years. The statement said, “US 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. We continue to do business with the Walt Disney Company on many fronts, including our ongoing relationship with Marvel TV.”
Although Disney originally signed the deal with Netflix in 2012, it didn’t come into effect until last year. However, it is not surprising that the studio wants to take advantage of the shifting landscape for streaming media and offer its content direct to consumers.
Disney has had a strong 2017 at the box office, but its takings have dipped compared to 2016. Although such guaranteed hits as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnarok, and Pixar’s Coco are set to be released at the end of the year, the company has nothing lined up for a fall release. In addition, Disney’s cable networks are a hugely important part of its business, and subscriber numbers for ESPN–which Disney owns–are continuing to decline.