The Walt Disney Company has confirmed that ESPN will launch a new standalone streaming service in the U.S. Disney announced that it is acquiring a 33% stake in BAMTech, the Major League Baseball’s media streaming unit, which will give delivery and support to other streaming platform videos, such as the new ESPN-branded service to be launched by the company.
The launch of this service was first reported by The Information. “As WatchESPN continues to grow and add value to the multichannel video subscription, this new service will be an outstanding complement”, said John Skipper, ESPN President and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, in a statement.
The new service will include college sports, such as football, basketball, tennis, rugby and cricket, said Disney Chairman and CEO, Bog Iger, on Disney’s earnings call.
Under the terms of the transaction, Disney will pay USD 1 billion for BAMTech in two installments, now and in January 2017, and has the option to acquire majority ownership in the coming years. According to the company, “Disney’s investment in BAMTech will provide capital to accelerate growth of its proprietary video-delivery platform, deliver greater flexibility to clients and develop new technologies and capabilities”.