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BAMTECH Media (previously stylized BAMTech Media) is an American internet video provider located in Manhattan, New York City in the United States and is currently owned by The Walt Disney Company through a 75% majority stake.

BAMTECH was established in 2015 as a spin-off company from MLB Advanced Media. It was majority owned by MLB Advanced Media with a one-third minority stake held by The Walt Disney Company in August 2016, and a minority stake held by the National Hockey League. In August 2017, Disney announced its intent to increase its stake to a 75% controlling stake for $1.58 billion, the deal was approved by regulators in September 2017.

The company's major clients include the NHL, HBO (for its HBO Now service), the PGA Tour, Riot Games, WatchESPN, PlayStation Vue, WWE Network[1][2] and TheBlaze.[3]

History

BAMTECH was founded in February 2015 through MLB Advanced Media, spinning-out its streaming technology business into a separate company with outside investors. The formation of the company was approved by MLB Advanced Media's board of directors on August 13, 2015.[4] Under the plan, MLB-specific properties (such as MLB.com) would remain under league control.[5]

In August 2016, The Walt Disney Company acquired a 1/3 stake in the company for $1 billion, with an option to acquire a majority stake in the future.[1] Disney's investment is connected to a planned ESPN over-the-top service,[3], which was planned to primarily draw from content that ESPN holds rights to but does not air on television.[6] On November 1, 2016, BAMTECH announced a partnership with Discovery Communications to form a European joint venture known as BAMTECH Europe. Its first client is Eurosport, the pan-European rights holder of the Olympic Games beginning 2018.[7]

On August 8, 2017, Disney announced that it would increase its ownership in the company to a 75% controlling stake for $1.58 billion. Disney concurrently announced that it planned to launch an over-the-top subscription service dedicated to its entertainment content in 2019 using BAMTECH infrastructure. It will draw from Disney's film libraries, as well as content from Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD's program libraries. It will replace Netflix as the exclusive subscription VOD rightsholder of all Disney, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Studios theatrical releases in the United States following its launch.[8] Disney also reiterated its plan to launch an ESPN-branded over-the-top service in early-2018, drawing from ESPN-owned sports rights, as well as MLB, NHL, and Major League Soccer content.[1]

The company formally launched a website and corporate identity in September 2017.[9] On November 8, 2017, BAMTECH acquired the Manchester based tech company Cake Solutions. As part of the corporate re-structuring, former director of Cake Solutions, Ian Brookes departed the company.[10]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Spangler, Todd (August 8, 2017). "Disney to End Netflix Deal, Sets Launch of ESPN and Disney-Branded Streaming Services" (in en-US), Variety. 
  2. Spangler, Todd (December 9, 2014). "HBO CTO Otto Berkes Resigns After Network Enlists MLB to Build OTT Platform" (in en-US), Variety. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "What’s Behind Disney’s $1 Billion Investment in Major League Baseball’s Digital Arm". Variety. Retrieved on December 18, 2016.
  4. Ben Popper. "The Change Up: How baseball’s tech team built the future of television". Vox Media
  5. "MLB considers spinning off its powerful streaming business". The Verge. Retrieved on August 4, 2015.
  6. "Walt Disney Co. buys stake in video streaming service BAMTech", Los Angeles Times (August 9, 2016). Retrieved on August 17, 2016. 
  7. "Discovery, MLB's Streaming Business Partner to Launch BAMTech Europe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on November 1, 2016.
  8. "Marvel and Star Wars films will ditch Netflix for Disney's own service" (in en), CNET. 
  9. "BAMTech Gets a Website, Logo". (en) Multichannel News.
  10. "Cake Solutions Joins BAMTECH Media.". (en) cakesolutions.net.


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