LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) mentioned on Wednesday it had created a brand new unit for its streaming video and worldwide companies as the corporate retools its conventional media operation for a world quickly embracing on-line video.
Kevin Mayer, the corporate’s chief technique officer, was named chairman of the brand new division, which can oversee the upcoming ESPN+ digital providing and the launch of a family-oriented streaming service in late 2019, Disney mentioned in an announcement.
The transfer, efficient instantly, comes as Disney is within the course of of buying movie, TV and worldwide companies from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O).
Disney additionally mixed its theme parks enterprise with the patron merchandise unit that licenses characters for toys, attire and different merchandise. Bob Chapek, who heads the parks division, will lead the mixed unit.
Media networks and the film studio will stay separate models, Disney mentioned.
“We’re strategically positioning our companies for the long run, making a more practical, world framework to serve customers worldwide, enhance progress, and maximize shareholder worth,” Disney Chief Govt Bob Iger mentioned in an announcement.
Disney’s largest TV community, ESPN, has been dropping subscribers as clients drop pay tv subscriptions in favor of streaming companies resembling Netflix Inc (NFLX.O).
The corporate is responding with its personal digital push. It’s pulling its first-run films from Netflix in 2019 to supply them on the Disney-branded service.
If the Fox deal wins approval, Disney additionally will broaden its programming portfolio and worldwide attain, plus personal a majority stake within the Hulu streaming service.
Disney expects to change its monetary reporting to replicate the brand new construction by the start of fiscal 2019, the corporate mentioned.
Shares of Disney rose zero.5 % to $104.33 in afternoon buying and selling on the New York Inventory Trade.
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Enhancing by Bernadette Baum