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Disney to leave Netflix, launch online-only ESPN service
Disney is removing its content from Netflix's streaming service and plans to launch its own platform.
The entertainment giant said during its earning report on Tuesday that it had purchased a majority stake in BAMtech, a company that develops streaming technology.
Disney plans to use the asset to launch a new streaming service in 2018 for programming from the sports network ESPN, which it has a majority stake in.
The company will end its distribution deal with Netflix in January 2019, and that year launch a separate platform for streaming content from Disney and other subsidiaries.
"The media landscape is increasingly defined by direct relationships between content creators and consumers, and our control of BAMTech's full array of innovative technology will give us the power to forge those connections, along with the flexibility to quickly adapt to shifts in the market," Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.
In addition to Disney-brand content largely aimed at younger audiences, the company also owns a number of big-name entertainment studios such as Marvel, Pixar and ABC.