Disney launching streaming service, pulling content off Netflix

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Disney is launching streaming services for both its movies and live sports, shaking up how it interacts with viewers as it navigates a changing media landscape. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)

Disney is launching its own streaming service and will be pulling its content off Netflix.

Disney announced it will end its distribution agreement with Netflix beginning in 2019.

The company announced on Tuesday it acquired majority ownership of BAMTech for $1.58 billion and will launch ESPN-branded multi-sport streaming in 2018. The service, to be delivered through the ESPN app, will offer baseball, hockey, soccer and tennis matches, as well as college sports.

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Disney announces a new streaming app for sports and movies

That will be followed by a Disney-branded streaming service in 2019 that will exclusively offer animated and live-action Disney and Pixar movies, starting with releases such as "Toy Story 4" and the sequel to "Frozen."

"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," said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement. "This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the Company, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands."

Disney says the service will be available in "multiple markets" outside the U.S. as well, taking advantage of Disney's global name recognition. Information about pricing was not disclosed.

Disney is the parent company of this station.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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