Want to sign up for basic cable service and get little more than your local channels and a few extras? Plenty of providers will offer you a fairly affordable option. But if you want to add ESPN, you’ll probably have to pay for a more expensive tier. Then there are premium channels like Showtime and HBO, and next thing you know your monthly TV bill is over $100.
It’s starting to look like internet streaming is going the same way. Disney has announced it’s launching its own streaming video service, which will be the exclusive home for new Disney movies and TV shows starting in 2019.
The company is ending its distribution deal with Netflix in 2019, which means if you want Disney content and Netflix content you’ll have to pay for each service. Disney, of course, is just the latest content provider to decide to go it alone rather than making its content available on an existing service.
Want to watch the new Star Trek series when it debuts this September? You’ll need to pony up for a CBS All Access subscription. The show won’t even be available on broadcast TV.
Game of Thrones fan? You need HBO Go. And then there’s all the exclusive content that’s only available on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Showtime Anytime, and… if you want it all, you’re going to end up paying a lot of money.
Fortunately, my local library still loans DVDs for free. So as long as I’m patient, I can still get my Doctor Who fix about 6-12 months after the end of each series.
As for Disney’s new streaming service, it’s a result of the company’s decision to “acquire majority ownership of BAMTech, LLC,” a streaming provider that was a joint venture of several companies including Disney and Major League Baseball.
In addition to launching a new Disney streaming service, the company plans to launch an “ESPN-branded multi-sport service” in 2018, with baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis, and additional content.
One bit of good news for Netflix subscribers who have been enjoying (most of) the Netflix/Marvel shows: while movies from Disney-owned Marvel will probably be leaving Netflix in 2019, Marvel TV shows will stick around.