Disney to Drop Netflix, Start Own Streaming Service

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The Walt Disney Co. plans to end its distribution agreement with Netflix.

That means, starting in 2019, Netflix customers won’t be able to stream any of Disney’s new releases.

Instead, Disney will offer its own direct-to-consumer streaming service.

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the entertainment company announced it’s buying a majority stake in streaming platform BAMTech. By doing so, Disney will launch a new ESPN-branded sports streaming service next year, followed by a Disney-branded service in 2019.

Some of the new releases Disney and Pixar have scheduled for that year include the sequel to “Frozen,” “Toy Story 4,” and a live-action version of “The Lion King.” These films won’t be streamed on Netflix; they’ll only be available through the new Disney service.

The company calls the decision a “strategic shift.”

But Disney stock fell on the heels of the announcement, ending Wednesday down about 4 percent.