Walt Disney to account for a major stake in BAMTech LLC and collaborate with ESPN for a streaming service

Published Date : 11 Aug 2017


The Walt Disney Company, a U.S. based multinational mass media and entertainment firm, is all set to purchase major portion of shares from BAMTech LLC, a key industry player offering direct-to-consumer video streaming and marketing services. As per the deal, the former will make a payment of USD 1.58 billion to BAMTech and acquire an additional 42% of the share. Disney had earlier purchased 33% of the latter’s shares for a valuation of USD 1 billion. This transaction is also expected to support the portfolio expansion of the multinational mass media & entertainment firm, which also plans to introduce ESPN-branded multi-sports video streaming in 2018 for sport lovers, followed by new direct-to-consumer video streaming services in 2019. As per experts, the acquisition and video streaming service strategies adopted by the firm are expected to create a profitable value for its streaming services.

The deal between the two reputed firms is yet to receive the nod of approval from the U.S. authorities. With the finalization of the deal, Mr. Iger, CEO of Walt Disney, will chair the BAMTech Board. Mr. John Skipper, the ESPN President as well as the Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks, is expected to handle the new ESPN-branded multi-sports video streaming services of the Disney firm.

The agreement will be dilutive to Disney’s earnings per share for first two years. The direct-to-consumer service of the firm will also influence further dilution, depending on Disney’s purchase of the broadcasting rights along with the type of the capital investment made on the original program broadcasting.

Through its ESPN-branded sports service, the recreation market giant will provide sports programs encompassing Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, Grand Slam Tennis, National Hockey League, and College Sports. Viewers can avail the service through the more advanced kind of the ESPN application. In addition to the sports services, ESPN will also include news broadcasting as well as sports highlights in its App. Viewers who pay for this ESPN app are authorized to view ESPN television via the same application.

The new direct-to consumer streaming services offered by Disney will have a huge impact on its media business in the U.S. It will also raise the number of subscriptions across the region with the firm investing heavily in a yearly schedule of original cinemas, short documentaries, and TV shows. Along with the implementation of this move, the firm will exterminate its distribution contract with Netflix, an entertainment organization based in the U.S. with the release of its new video streaming services that commences in 2019.

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