Disney takes billion-dollar stake in sports streaming firm BAMTech | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Aiming to strengthen its online video sports offer beyond ESPN, the Walt Disney Company is acquiring a 33% stake in leading video streaming firm BAMTech.

Disney 10 August 2016Previously the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball (MLB), BAMTech was founded in 2000 and provides direct-to-consumer streaming services, data analytics and commerce management with nearly 7.5 million total paid subscribers to its clients’ OTT products. The multi-platform offering also has back-end technology can personalise and enhance content-viewing experiences and is capable of serving live content to global consumers. Its roster of sports, news and entertainment clients includes HBO NOW, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, the PGA TOUR, WWE Network and Ice Network.

Under the terms of the deal, Disney will pay $1 billion in two instalments, now and in January 2017, and has the option to acquire majority ownership in the coming years. The investment is designed to allow BAMTech to accelerate growth of its proprietary video delivery platform, deliver greater flexibility to clients and develop new technologies and capabilities.

BAMTech will become a key partner for Disney in the delivery and support of streaming video and other digital products from Disney/ABC Television Group and ESPN, as well as future digital initiatives across the Company. It will also collaborate with ESPN to launch and distribute a new ESPN-branded multi-sport subscription streaming service in the future.

The direct-to-consumer service will feature content provided by both BAMTech and ESPN, and include live regional, national and international sporting events. However, current content on ESPN’s linear networks will not appear on the new subscription streaming service. More details about the new service will be announced in the months ahead.

“Our investment in BAMTech gives us the technology infrastructure we need to quickly scale and monetise our streaming capabilities at ESPN and across our company,” commented Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “We look forward to working closely with BAMTech as we explore new ways to deliver the unmatched content of The Walt Disney Company across a variety of platforms.”