The Walt Disney Company, parent corporation of ESPN and ABC, will pay the NHL $350 million for a 10% stake in Disney's streaming platforms.
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The Walt Disney Co. will pay the National Hockey League $350 million to buy the league’s 10 percent stake in Disney Streaming Services, the Disney subsidiary that manages the technology platforms that power the company’s streaming services, like Disney+ and ESPN+. Disney Streaming Services was previously known as BAMTech.
The NHL had an option to trigger the buyout this year, and according to Disney’s quarterly report, the league exercised its option Aug. 3. The deal is expected to close by the end of fiscal 2021. When the deal is complete, Disney will own 85 percent of BAMTech/Disney Streaming Services, with Major League Baseball holding the remaining 15 percent.
A spokesperson declined to comment beyond what was in the 10-Q filing.
MLB created the streaming technology company in 2015 as an offshoot of MLB Advanced Media, with Disney acquiring a majority stake in the company in 2017. MLB has the right to sell its remaining interest in the company, and Disney has the right to buy it, beginning in 2022. According to Disney, the floor market value for MLB’s BAMTech stake is $752 million.
Disney’s struck a seven-year rights deal with the NHL earlier this year, giving ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu exclusive games, with some Stanley Cup playoff games set to air on ABC beginning with the 2021-2022 season.