Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Disney Pulls Out Of Deal With Netflix, Plans to Launch Their Own Streaming Service

By: Dominic Jones

Well, it was fun while it lasted.  For Star Wars fans in the 21st century, the dream of having all the Star Wars films past, present, and future on Netflix looks like it will remain just that, a dream.  The Walt Disney Company announced today that they would be pulling out of their current streaming deal with Netflix and plans on launching their own streaming service in 2019.  It's not clear whether Disney's remaining 2017 and 2018 slate of films will be released on the platform.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the first (and perhaps only) live action Star Wars film to be released on Netflix US (though The Force Awakens was available on Netflix in other regions, including Canada).  The Last Jedi, the untitled Han Solo film, and Episode IX were all expected to make their way to Netflix following their theatrical runs, but now Episode IX (slated for a May 2019 release) definitely won't and it's not clear whether the other will make it to the platform.

Disney is expected to develop their own streaming service based on the technology of MLB advanced media's spin-off company BAMTech, which they invested $1 Billion in last year for a 33% stake.  Disney has now apparently bought up a majority ownership of BAM for $1.58 Billion.  Disney also expects to launch a sports streaming service under the ESPN brand, featuring MLB, NHL, and MLS content.

Disney CEO Bob Iger to CNBC, "This represents a big strategic shift for the company. We felt that having control of a platform we've been very impressed with after buying 33 percent of it a year ago would give us control of our destiny."

What this means for Star Wars fans is that you'll likely have to move to a different streaming service (or simply add another) if you want to stream the upcoming Star Wars films.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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