Disney, ESPN Makes OTT Move

By Andy Thwaite Aug 15, 2017

Disney, ESPN Makes OTT Move

Last week saw the well-publicized announcement from Disney that they would 1) be launching a Disney OTT service in 2019 and removing their programming from Netflix; 2) launch the previously announced ESPN OTT service in early 2018; and 3) be taking a majority stake in BAMTech, to facilitate these OTT plans. Variety offers a good summary.

Why it’s important?

In short, it signals Disney’s shift to creating a direct-to-consumer business and not relying on traditional TV models. It shows their belief that the future of their business is owning the fan relationship and using the data they get from this to inform programming decisions and provide targeted advertising.

As it relates to ESPN, Disney still has a foot in both camps though, while the launch of ESPN OTT will offer a direct to consumer service, it will be restricted to programming that is not available on TV.


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Andy Thwaite

About the Author

Andy is vice president, digital strategy of ESP Properties. He is an experienced sports marketing and media executive, delivering business growth for leading rightsholders, media organizations and brands. Working at the intersection of sports, media and technology, Andy brings unique insights from his experience at the world’s largest seller (IMG) and buyer (WPP) of sport, along with commercial roles at PBR and Turner Sports.



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