Disney Reorganizes Business To Reflect Streaming Ambitions

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With an ESPN subscription streaming service set to launch any day and a Disney streaming service due next year, Disney is consolidating its direct-to-consumer and global businesses into a newly formed segment. "By uniting Disney's consumer products business and Disney Parks' robust retail and e-commerce operations, the company will be able to share resources and best practices to provide consumers with incomparable branded products and retail experiences", Disney stated.

The move, effective immediately, comes as Disney is in the process of purchasing film, TV and worldwide businesses from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOXA.O .

Regulators are reviewing the deal, which has been complicated by Comcast's offer for one of the assets, Britain's Sky Plc.

Disney's business segments going forward are the newly formed direct-to-consumer and global; the combined parks, experiences and consumer products; media networks; and studio entertainment.

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Media networks and the movie studio will remain separate units, Disney said. It come days after DCPI chairman Jimmy Pitaro was appointed to run sports network ESPN and co-chair Disney's television network business.

Disney's streaming tech company BAMTech will now house all consumer-facing digital technology and products as part of the new D2C segment.

Those services, created to make Disney competitive with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, include ESPN Plus, which will roll out this spring. Rounding out Disney's streaming portfolio will be Hulu, an established service that focuses on older viewers with programming that includes ABC shows. The new reporting structure will become effective by the start of fiscal 2019, according to a release.