The Walt Disney Company is buying a big stake in Major League Baseball's BAMTech streaming-media unit, clearing the way for sports network ESPN to soon launch a new "multi-sport subscription service."
Potentially changing the way we will watch sports, Disney is paying $1 billion for a 33 percent interest in BAMTech, the company said Tuesday during its quarterly earnings report. BAMTech provides streaming for several sports and media companies including HBO and the WWE to more than 7 million subscribers.
As part of the deal with the MLB, Disney has the option to acquire a majority ownership in BAMTech in the next few years. Disney will pay in two installments, one now and another in January 2017. BAMTech will also split from MLB Advanced Media, which built the service.
"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,"Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.