Disney will launch two streaming platforms, one focused on sports and another in animated content come 2019. Image: TheUSBPort.

On Tuesday, The Walt Disney Company reached an agreement with BAMTech to acquire a majority of its ownership for $1.58 billion. The mouse will turn the current platform into an ESPN streaming service in 2018 and will create a new Disney streaming platform in 2019, effectively ending its deal with Netflix.

The move came on the same day that Disney reported its quarterly earnings results with shareholders, with red numbers showing up in key areas of the multibillion media empire. After the announcement, both Disney and Netflix took a hit in after-hours trading, while BAMTech’s valuation rose to $3.75 billion.

There is a gray area on the deal going forward since there is no concrete knowledge about what will happen to Star Wars and Marvel as franchises that live in both platforms. For now, the content limit has been set with possibilities of expansion in the future.

Disney’s new streaming platform could bring a pirate uprising

While businessmen seem eager to learn more about the opportunities that both upcoming platforms could bring for additional profits, consumers are getting tired of the ever-increasing amount of streaming services they have to hire.

Disney’s announcement prompted mixed reactions among users in online forums like Reddit, who quickly said they would resort to piracy if they were forced to pay yet another premium for a subscription to a different service when the same content has been available for years in Netflix.

The entertainment giant and the king of streaming have had a deal in place since 2012, and they renewed the terms of content exclusivity last year. This included films and TV shows from Disney and Pixar, which will now be exclusive to the new service in 2019.

Could Star Wars and Marvel have their own streaming services?

In their announcement, The Walt Disney Co. only made reference to release year titles like the sequel to Frozen, the live-action version of The Lion King, and Toy Story 4. Cartoons and content from Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior will also get pulled out of Netflix and brought to the upcoming platform.

CEO Bob Iger addressed the controversial decision of whether to bring Star Wars and Marvel titles along for the new ride, but he clarified these franchises will be left out of the new service due to differences in fan bases.

The executive did not discard the possibility of renewing these licenses to Netflix, particularly that for Marvel content since several original shows have seen the light of day through that partnership.

Mr. Iger, however, did not discard either the idea of a standalone service for each fan base, although this would prove quite challenging since there is not nearly enough content to satisfy the demands of each legion of franchise enthusiasts separately.

Source: The Walt Disney Company

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