Disney buys MLB's stake in streaming firm BAMTech for US$900mil


Traders work at the post where Walt Disney Co. stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

WALT Disney Co disclosed on Tuesday that it has taken full control of BAMTech, a video-streaming firm spun off from Major League Baseball's digital media company MLB Advanced Media.

Disney earlier this month purchased the remaining stake in BAMTech from Major League Baseball for $900 million, the company said in a SEC filing.

Previous to the transaction, streaming technology services provider BAMTech was owned 85% by Disney and 15% by Major League Baseball (MLB).

BAMTech and MLB did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Disney back in 2016 began the process to acquire BAMTech by buying a 33% stake for $1 billion to allow it to sell more content directly to consumers.

BAMTech provides the streaming platform for such entities as Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment and Warner Bros Discovery Inc's HBO.

Disney, which has been expanding into multimedia services, said it will take full control of Hulu service in a deal with Comcast Corp, as it vies for a bigger piece of the global video streaming market dominated by companies such as Netflix Inc .

Streaming service provider Hulu is owned 67% by Disney and 33% by NBC Universal (NBCU).

Disney said last week that Bob Iger is returning to the company as chief executive less than a year after he retired, a surprise comeback that coincides with the entertainment company's attempt to boost investor confidence and profit at its streaming media unit.

Iger said on Monday one of his top priorities is to make the company's streaming business profitable.

Disney on Tuesday said the company anticipates organizational and operational changes that could result in impairment charges in the coming months. Disney said Iger's mandate is to put the company on the path for renewed growth. - Reuters

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