Full disclosure: I’m overwhelmed with the sheer number of things I need to subscribe to watch my favorite shows. Netflix for Orange Is The New Black, Hulu for The Mindy Project, Amazon Prime for Catastrophe and HBOGo for Veep (No, I don’t watch Game of Thrones and I won’t let you shame me about it). And now the folks at Disney are making moves that may cause me to add yet another service or two to my never-ending menu.
During a quarterly earnings call yesterday, Disney Chairman/CEO Bob Iger revealed what Decider calls a “massive strategic shift in the company’s content distribution strategy, one that aims to leverage the unique affinity that consumers have for the Disney brand name and the love that sports fans have for ESPN.” Meaning: goodbye Netflix, hello Disney’s own streaming services.
For sports-lovers, an ESPN streaming service will debut early next year that will allow viewers to not only watch over 10,000 events that are not on the “regular” ESPN channels, but also let them pick specific sports leagues to watch. The move comes as ratings and revenue for ESPN have been in freefall due to people cutting the cable cord. I still have cable, but given my love of 30 for 30, I’m definitely subscribing if the series gets its own stream where I can fulfill my goal of watching every episode of the series.
And for those devotees of the mouse house…sad news for those of you that get your fix via Netflix. Iger also announced during the call that Disney will be pulling all of its movies and shows off that streaming service and starting its own TV-and-movie service that will feature “Disney- and Pixar-branded titles, as well as original movie and TV series productions and some library product.” The service will kick off in 2019 with Toy Story 4 and the sequel to Frozen… meaning that literally everyone is going to subscribe.
Smart thinking, Disney. .
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