Disney to start online streaming, bypassing Netflix

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Media giant Walt Disney plans to start its own online streaming services for movies, shows and sports in a shift aimed at bringing productions directly to consumers.

The plans come as the firm grapples with falling television subscriptions and challenges from online video.

It will launch an ESPN-branded sports service early next year and a Disney streaming service in 2019.

The firm also said it would also cut some ties with Netflix.

The company made the announcements on Tuesday as it reported an almost 9% fall in quarterly profits.

Disney boss Robert Iger said the streaming services “mark the beginning of what will be an entirely new growth strategy for the company”.

The start dates are for the US services, but Mr Iger said Disney expects to make a similar push in other markets around the world.

The firm also plans to increase its investment in movies and television series to produce more original content for the streaming service.

Netflix will lose access to streaming rights to new live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar starting in 2019. Netflix fell more than 3% in after hours trading.

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