The NHL is selling its 10% stake in Disney Streaming Services, providing a sorely needed cash influx of $350 million.
The league exercised an option in its contract with Disney to trigger a sale on Aug. 3. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
The streaming technology company, originally created by MLB as “BAMTech,” has become the backbone of Disney’s rapidly growing streaming empire, which includes Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu.
- MLB, which owns a 15% stake, may exercise a similar option in September 2022. Disney said that the minimum price for MLB’s stake is currently $752 million.
- MLB established BAMTech in 2015, with the NHL as a minority investor, to be the technology company behind MLB.tv and NHL.tv.
- Disney bought a 33% stake in 2016, which it increased to 75% in 2017 for $1.58 billion.
ESPN+ launched in 2018, and Disney+ launched the following year. The subscriber base of the two services grew by 75% and 100% year-over-year, respectively, in the fiscal quarter ending July 3.
The NHL lost an estimated $3.6 billion in revenue last season due to limited game attendance. Commissioner Gary Bettman said in January that the league would save money if it canceled its games.