Walt Disney Co. will acquire a 33 percent stake in Major League Baseball’s video streaming company, BamTech, for $1 billion.
BamTech was separated from MLB’s digital business, MLB Advanced Media, as part of the transaction. Disney will pay for the company in two installments, now and in January 2017, and has the option to acquire majority ownership in the coming years.
Disney will use the video technology to help propel its foray into the post-cable era, where consumers cut their cable subscriptions in favor of internet streaming services. BamTech will launch and distribute a new ESPN-branded multi-sport subscription streaming service, which will include live regional, national and international sporting events.
“Our investment in BamTech gives us the technology infrastructure we need to quickly scale and monetize our streaming capabilities at ESPN and across our company,” said Robert Iger, chairman and chief executive of Disney, in a statement.
Following Disney’s acquisition of a stake in BamTech, the National Hockey League received a minority interest in BamTech, which is the result of a previous agreement. BamTech will use the infusion of capital to accelerate growth of its video-delivery platform and further develop its technology.
Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @garrettreim on Twitter for the latest in L.A. tech news.
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