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Watch out, Netflix! Disney launches own streaming service

A logo featuring Mickey Mouse is seen on the
A logo featuring Mickey Mouse is seen on the "Disney Fantasy" cruise ship at the Meyer Werft shipyards before the ship's departure on January 20, 2012 in Papenburg, Germany.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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Trying to pave its own way in a highly-competitive market of on-demand and streaming video services, Disney says it plans to end its deal with Netflix and launch its own streaming service in 2019.  

The announcement came the same day Disney reported less-than-desirable third quarter earnings, and is trying to make a big splash in a market that is already highly saturated with streaming services and original content. Fear not, though. Your kids can still watch Moana on Netflix for the time being -- Disney isn’t pulling its content from Netflix immediately. Instead, it’ll cut Netflix off starting with 2019 Disney titles. Disney has an enormous library of movies, TV shows and other original content, not to mention the rights to both the Star Wars and Marvel Comics franchises.

Disney also announced it would be launching a new streaming service for ESPN next year that will carry live sporting events from a number of professional sports leagues like the MLB, NHL and MLS. It is still unclear whether the service will also offer ESPN original content like SportsCenter or their popular ‘30 for 30’ documentary series.

Would you pay for a Disney streaming service? Do you think they will be able to wedge themselves into a highly-competitive market like streaming services? Will Netflix ultimately suffer in terms of subscribers as a result of this?


Christopher Palmeri, Los Angeles bureau chief for Bloomberg news who’s been following the story; he tweets @chrispalmeri

Alan L. Wolk, co-founder and lead analyst of TV[R]EV, a consultant firm for the TV industry; author of the book, “Over The Top. How The Internet Is (Slowly But Surely) Changing The Television Industry” (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015)