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.

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16 replies on “Disney to launch streaming service, end Netflix deal (and streaming will eventually be as expensive as cable)”

  1. Well Fuck Disney then tbh. I subscribed to Netflix to legally support what I watch while having it all in 1 convenient place together, i got Amazon Prime just end of last year because the stuff besides streaming video made it barely acceptable to have it in 2 places, but that’s it.

    Anything not on those 2 I will simply pirate. If you make it inconvenient to access, I will make it inconvenient to get reimbursed for it. Sue me for copyright infringement, or go home empty handed Disney.

  2. The benefit over a cable subscription is that I don’t have to pay for sports if I don’t want them. Comcast can’t pretend I’m benefiting from “Music Channels” I don’t use. Channels with preachers yelling for donations are no longer an annoyance to skip over. I can pick what I want. Also an HD antenna still works well for things like live NBC/ABC. But yeah it adds up

  3. Hopefully CBS will have a 30 day trial period, so you’ll have time to watch the entire ST series without having to pay for it.

  4. Piracy has never really been about the money (well, sure, it is for some people but they’re genuinely poor. It’s easy to justify spending 1% or less of your income on Netflix say). It’s always been about the ease of access. I can go to a website, search for Disney’s latest movie, or HBO’s latest TV show, or something from ABC, BBC, Universal and whatever it is it’ll be there. Until we have that sort of range from a single service piracy will still be prevalent.

    We have that sort of unification with music (when was the last time you couldn’t find what you were looking for on Spotify?) and had it for a while with PC games (Steam, broken now thanks to origin, uplay etc) but we’ve never had it with videos.

    1. Now that I think of it, the music thing might also be about branding which is more common in TV than music. If you want to listen to a band’s album, you don’t really care that they were signed with sony for this one and maddog for the other, you care about the album and the band. For some reason TV production companies think they’re big enough brands that people care about them, which is rubbish. Scy-fy made/make some good shows like Battlestar Galactica and The Expanse but my impression of them as a company is they’re foolish, I have no loyalty towards them. As a result if they start a streaming service I’m going to think it’s rubbish because their name is on it.

  5. The concern I see right now is fragmentation. We’re used to having all channels available from one cable provider. It will be complicated if you need 10-15 different apps to get all of the content that you’re interested in.

    I hope it doesn’t come to that.

  6. The arrogance of these companies is astounding. To think that any one company’s content is so important that masses of people will sign up to yet another service for just their content amazes me (looking at you CBS). Not to mention companies like Disney will feel their content is worth more than everyone else’s content so they will be charging more. Kids like watching the same thing repeatedly so it might be cheaper to buy a few DVD/BluRay discs and skip the subscription. One of the great things about Netflix is the wide range of content (minus sports). This shift will only increase piracy. If the various services were to keep their prices reasonable ($10/month or so) it wouldn’t be so bad. I could see some aggregator software that you will give your credentials to and it will automatically subscribe you/unsubscribe you to all the various services and act as a launching pad for the shows you watch without having to remember which service provides it.

  7. In some ways, I can understand having a full repertoire of streaming services being more expensive than traditional TV service — you get (almost) no ads and can watch whatever you want 100% on-demand. That being said, you also have to consider that you’re paying for your content twice since a good chunk of the US has to worry about ISP data caps…
    Now that streaming is becoming more popular, all of the rights holders have realized that there’s money to be made in doing your own streaming if you’ve got a sizable library of content. With Disney owning Marvel, Star Wars, and their own catalog, it’s surprising it took them this long to cash in. Fox already started doing the same thing, pulling all or most of their IP to Hulu, of which it owns 30%. Sadly I think this is the trend of the future.

  8. “my local library still loans DVDs for free”.
    I’m sure they’ll find a way to make that illegal too.

    1. Quite frankly I’ve never understood why libraries waste their limited resources on that sort of thing. Movies are not books.

  9. I sometimes cancel netflix and go Amazon for a while, then come back. But that style is going to get more complicated to manage.

    I want to sign up a la carte, but not at 1000 different websites with 1000 different logins and cancellation procedures to manage, and 1000 different sites to watch to see which gets hacked and you have to change your credit cards. Amazon’s Channels service looks like a decent way to get a la carte and I hope it gets copied at other outlets, like netflix. I’d certainly pay individually for Syfy and a couple of others, though not year-round.

  10. 1200 dollars a year for television. Does anything more need to be said? It’s getting to the point that even the “cordcutting” movement is beyond mainstream. I’m EAGERLY waiting for the next movement to start. I hope it involves everyone just throwing their tv’s in the trash.

  11. The problem these companies face is that viewership is also shifting. So it may end up that streaming is as expensive to get all the channels/shows. But the trend is that fewer and fewer people want them.
    Even if you want to see something like Game of Thrones you can simply get the service for the time the new season is running. Or if you aren’t concerned with spoilers then just wait until the end of the season and watch it all at once for the price of a single month. Not that bad even if you don’t have a DVD player or library card.

    1. I think the “watchlist,” or “my list” or whatever they call it sort of locks you in. I’ve got a list of 300+ things I thought at some point I might want to watch on Netflix. Sure, most of them have been sitting there unwatched for years… but if I cancel my subscription and then start it up again, how will I ever remember that thing I kind of thought I might want to watch sometime?

      1. Netflix saves your queue for a year or two after cancellation, so long as you remember which email address you signed up under.

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