Disney is going to pull it’s movies from Netflix and start their own streaming service. This was announced during the latest earnings report today. The plan is to have their own Disney branded direct-to-consumer streaming service up and running in the U.S. by 2019 and then expand globally.
CEO Bob Iger told CNBC that they have had a good relationship with Netflix, but decided to exercise an option to move their content off the platform. According to the report, the movies to be removed are Disney and Pixar titles (Marvel was mentioned in the initial report then removed moments later). This means 2019 films like Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and the live-action Lion King will find their home on the new streaming service.
The company also has plans to launch an ESPN video streaming service in 2018 that will feature roughly 10,000 sporting events and content from MLB, NHL and MLS.
The most interesting part of this announcement is how does it affect the Marvel properties. As you can see from the above screen shots, the initial CNBC report referred to Marvel as part of the movies being pulled, but the report was changed shortly after. Does Disney plan to include the Marvel Studios films on their streaming service? And what does that mean for the deal Marvel and Netflix have for Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the rest? The Netflix / Marvel shows are some of the most popular that the streaming service have to offer. Will Disney leave them where they are or play out the contract then move future series over to their own streaming service. Was the a correction on CNBC’s part or a request from Disney? Could the Marvel mention have been removed to give Netflix some time to prepare for the news and protect their stock value? I mean, Disney wouldn’t want to upset things while there is still a contract between Marvel and Netflix… right?