BURBANK, CALIF.—The Walt Disney Company has announced that it is set to acquire a 33 percent stake in technology services and video streaming company BAMTech. Originally formed by Major League Baseball, BAMTech will aid Disney in the delivery and support of streaming video and other digital products from Disney | ABC Television Group and ESPN.
“Our investment in BAMTech gives us the technology infrastructure we need to quickly scale and monetize our streaming capabilities at ESPN and across our company,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO for The Walt Disney Company.
As part of the new deal BAMTech will collaborate with ESPN to launch and distribute a new ESPN-branded multi-sport subscription streaming service. This new direct-to-consumer service will feature BAMTech and ESPN content and live regional, national and international sporting events. However, current content on ESPN’s linear networks will not appear as part of the service.
Disney will pay $1 billion in two installments to complete the deal; one now and one in January 2017. It also has the option to acquire a majority ownership in the coming years. Other details of the agreement include BAMTech separating from MLB’s MLB Advanced Media digital business; and the NHL has received a minority interest in BAMTech, as a result of a previous agreement.