Disney Streaming Services
|Founder||Major League Baseball Advanced Media|
Number of employees
|Parent||Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International|
(The Walt Disney Company)
|Subsidiaries||BAMTech Europe (JV) (50%)|
|Footnotes / references|
Disney Streaming Services is a technology subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company located in Manhattan, New York City. It was established in 2015 as a spin-off of MLB Advanced Media—the digital media arm of Major League Baseball, focused on providing streaming video technology, particularly for over-the-top content (OTT) services. The company's major clients include ESPN (for its WatchESPN service), the National Hockey League, PlayStation Vue, and TheBlaze.
It was majority owned by MLB Advanced Media (which is, in turn, a consortium of MLB's principal team owners), with minority stakes held by the NHL and other investors. Disney acquired a minority stake in the company in August 2016 for $1 billion, and the following year, announced its intent to increase its stake to a 75% controlling stake for $1.58 billion. The deal was approved by regulators in September 2017. Following the acquisition of BAMTech by Disney, the company began to develop two subscription streaming services aligned with Disney properties: the sports-oriented service ESPN+, and the entertainment service Disney+.
As BAMTech Media
BAMTech was founded in February 2015 through MLB Advanced Media, spinning-out its streaming technology business into a separate company with outside investors. The formation of the company was approved by MLB Advanced Media's board of directors on August 13, 2015. Under the plan, MLB-specific properties (such as MLB.com) would remain under league control. In August 2016, The Walt Disney Company acquired a 1/3 stake in the company for $1 billion, with an option to acquire a majority stake in the future.
On November 1, 2016, BAMTech announced a partnership with Discovery Communications to form a European joint venture known as BAMTech Europe. Its first client is Eurosport, the pan-European rightsholder of the Olympic Games beginning 2018. The following month, Riot Games announced a deal with BAMTech for the company to distribute and monetize broadcasts of professional competitions in its multiplayer video game League of Legends through 2023, under which BAMTech would pay Riot at least $50 million per-year, and split advertising revenue. However, after multiple delays, the deal was shelved in 2018 (with Riot instead entering into a non-exclusive distribution deal with ESPN+ to include its content on the platform).
On February 21, 2017, Michael Paull was named BAMTech's CEO. On August 8, 2017, Disney announced that it would increase its ownership in the company to a 75% controlling stake for $1.58 billion. Disney also reiterated its plan to launch an ESPN-branded over-the-top service in early-2018 followed by a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019. BAMTech Media was placed under Kevin A. Mayer, Disney's senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer.
The company formally launched a website and corporate identity in September 2017. On November 7, 2017, BAMTech acquired the Manchester-based software firm Cake Solutions. As part of the corporate re-structuring, former director of Cake Solutions, Ian Brookes departed the company.
In Disney's March 14, 2018 segment reorganization in anticipation of integrating Fox assets, BAMTech was transferred to Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International. BAMTech named Kevin Swint as senior vice-president and general manager of the Disney forthcoming streaming service in January 2018 with Agnes Chu as programming executive.
As Disney Streaming Services
In October 2018, it was reported that the company had been internally renamed Disney Streaming Services. On October 31, 2018, ESPN International executive vice-president and managing director Russell Wolff was named executive vice-president and general manager of ESPN+. WWE did not renew its contract with BAMTech when it expired at the end of 2018, and signed a deal with Endeavor Streaming in January 2019.
- Spangler, Todd (February 21, 2017). "MLB, Disney Tap Amazon's Michael Paull as CEO of BAMTech Streaming Venture". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- BARNES, Brooks; KOBLIN, John (October 8, 2017). "Disney's Big Bet on Streaming Relies on Little-Known Tech Company". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- Spangler, Todd (October 10, 2018). "Disney Appoints ESPN's Aaron LaBerge as CTO of Streaming and International Division". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
LaBerge and the DTCI Technology team will collaborate closely with Disney Streaming Services, the group previously known as BAMTech, which remains responsible for DTCI’s direct-to-consumer subscription streaming platforms.
- Munson, Ben (September 20, 2017). "Disney gets OK from FTC for $1.58B BAMTech buy". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- Eggerton, John (September 20, 2017). "Feds OK Disney's BAMTech Buy". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- Ben Popper. "The Change Up: How baseball's tech team built the future of television". The Verge. Vox Media.
- "MLB considers spinning off its powerful streaming business". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- Ben Rains (July 1, 2016). "Disney Prepares To Adapt To Cord Cutters With New MLBAM Deal". Sporttechie.com. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Discovery, MLB's Streaming Business Partner to Launch BAMTech Europe". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- "League of Legends' maker inks rich broadcast contract, with an eye on premium content". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- "'League of Legends' E-Sports Contests Lure Newest Fan: Major League Baseball". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- Novy-Williams, Eben (May 25, 2019). "Record $350 Million Esports Deal Dissolved Before It Began". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
- Todd Spangler (February 21, 2017). "MLB, Disney Tap Amazon's Michael Paull as CEO of BAMTech Streaming Venture". Variety. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Marvel and Star Wars films will ditch Netflix for Disney's own service". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
- Spangler, Todd (August 8, 2017). "Disney to End Netflix Deal, Sets Launch of ESPN and Disney-Branded Streaming Services". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "BAMTech Gets a Website, Logo". Multichannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
- Evison, Peter. "Cake Solutions Joins BAMTECH Media". Cake Solutions. Archived from the original on November 11, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- Spangler, Todd (March 14, 2018). "Disney Reorganizes Divisions, Creates Dedicated Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Unit". Variety. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- Jarvey, Natalie (January 19, 2018). "BAMTech Taps Apple Veteran to Lead Disney OTT". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- Spangler, Todd (October 31, 2018). "Disney Puts Longtime ESPN Exec Russell Wolff in Charge of ESPN+ Streaming Service". Variety. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
Wolff, as EVP and general manager of ESPN+, reports to Michael Paull, president of Disney Streaming Services (formerly referred to as BAMTech Media).
- Spangler, Todd (January 14, 2019). "Endeavor Video-Streaming Group Signs WWE, Which Ended Deal With Disney's BAMTech". Variety. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
BAMTech, now called Disney Streaming Services, ..