Disney to give Netflix the white-gloved Mickey middle finger in 2019

Enlarge / “O-ho! Oh boy! We’re leaving Netflix!” (credit: Aurich / Disney / Netflix)

Disney’s latest quarterly report included a major announcement about its online video-streaming plans—and how sharply they will diverge from the company’s current Netflix partnership.

Starting in 2019, Disney will operate its own paid video-streaming service. This news came about as Disney announced on Tuesday that it would acquire a majority stake in a video-streaming company called BAM Tech. (Following a 2016 stock purchase, Disney had previously owned a 33-percent stake in BAM Tech.)

Currently, Disney has an exclusive deal with Netflix for streaming its films and TV series; the deal began in 2012 and expanded last year. Terms for that deal, particularly its expiration date, were never publicly disclosed. It’s possible that the Netflix deal’s expiration will line up perfectly with the launch of what Disney describes as “the exclusive home in the US for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live-action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar.” This paid online service will also include a selection of classic Disney and Pixar content, along with “original movies, TV shows, short-form content, and other Disney-branded exclusives” made exclusively for the streaming service.

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