Thanks to Fieldfisher Trainee Solicitor Alex Hooley for authoring this article.
Offering further proof that every media company is a technology company, Disney has invested $1 billion to acquire 33% of Major League Baseball's technology subsidiary BAMTech (an arm of pioneering MLB Advanced Media) to shore up the declining fortunes of its flagship ESPN.
BAMTech will generate and distribute a new multi-sport subscription streaming service branded under ESPN's name that will be sold directly to consumers, and will be complimentary to sports content that is currently provided by ESPN via its traditional TV cable package.
As cord-cutting accelerates, ESPN has seen subscription revenue drop; this deal enables ESPN to broaden the online sports content it offers and realise the goal of having a complete portfolio of ESPN content available via a widely-available online streaming service.
The new service is expected to be in place by the end of the year and is an example of how a sports content provider has had to adapt to the growing consumer migration to online viewing platforms.