BAMTech

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BAMTECH, LLC
BAMTech Media
Subsidiary
Industry
Founded February 2015; 3 years ago (2015-02)
Founder MLB Advanced Media
Headquarters Chelsea Market, Manhattan, New York, United States
Key people
  • Michael Paull (CEO)[1]
  • Joe Inzerillo (Chief technology officer)
  • Eric Lieberman (Senior vice president)
Members
Number of employees
850 (2017)[2]
Subsidiaries BAMTech Europe (JV) (50%)
Cake Solutions
Website www.bamtechmedia.com

Bamtech, LLC, doing business as BAMTech Media (stylized as BAMTECH), is a technology subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company located in Manhattan, New York City.[2] 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 the NHL, HBO (for its HBO Now service), the PGA Tour, Riot Games, WatchESPN, PlayStation Vue, WWE Network[3][4] and TheBlaze.

It was majority owned by MLB Advanced Media (which is, in turn, a consortium of MLB's principal team owners), with a one-third minority stake held by The Walt Disney Company, and a minority stake held by the National Hockey League. In August 2017, Disney 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.[5][6]

History[edit]

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.[7] Under the plan, MLB-specific properties (such as MLB.com) would remain under league control.[8] 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.[9]

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 rights holder of the Olympic Games beginning 2018.[10] 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. BAMTech will pay Riot at least $50 million per-year, and split advertising revenue.[11][12]

On February 21, 2017, Michael Paull was named BAMTech's CEO.[13] On August 8, 2017, Disney announced that it would increase its ownership in the company to a 75% controlling stake for $1.58 billion.[14] 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.[3]

The company formally launched a website and corporate identity in September 2017.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b BARNES, Brooks; KOBLIN, John (2017-10-08). "Disney's Big Bet on Streaming Relies on Little-Known Tech Company". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  3. ^ a b 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. 
  4. ^ Spangler, Todd (December 9, 2014). "HBO CTO Otto Berkes Resigns After Network Enlists MLB to Build OTT Platform". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ Munson, Ben (September 20, 2017). "Disney gets OK from FTC for $1.58B BAMTech buy". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 20, 2017. 
  6. ^ Eggerton, John (September 20, 2017). "Feds OK Disney's BAMTech Buy". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 20, 2017. 
  7. ^ Ben Popper. "The Change Up: How baseball's tech team built the future of television". The Verge. Vox Media. 
  8. ^ "MLB considers spinning off its powerful streaming business". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ Ben Rains (2016-07-01). "Disney Prepares To Adapt To Cord Cutters With New MLBAM Deal". Sporttechie.com. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  10. ^ "Discovery, MLB's Streaming Business Partner to Launch BAMTech Europe". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  11. ^ "League of Legends' maker inks rich broadcast contract, with an eye on premium content". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  12. ^ "'League of Legends' E-Sports Contests Lure Newest Fan: Major League Baseball". The Wall Street Journal. News Corp. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  13. ^ Todd Spangler (2017-02-21). "MLB, Disney Tap Amazon's Michael Paull as CEO of BAMTech Streaming Venture". Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  14. ^ "Marvel and Star Wars films will ditch Netflix for Disney's own service". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  15. ^ "BAMTech Gets a Website, Logo". Multichannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  16. ^ Evison, Peter. "Cake Solutions Joins BAMTECH Media". Cake Solutions. Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  17. ^ Jarvey, Natalie (January 19, 2018). "BAMTech Taps Apple Veteran to Lead Disney OTT". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 9, 2018. 

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