Disney paid $900 million to acquire the final chunk of BAMTech, the technological backbone for ESPN+ and the entertainment giant’s other streaming efforts.
MLB — which founded BAMTech — sold the 15% stake to Disney this month, according to Disney’s latest annual report made public on Tuesday.
That puts the valuation of the subsidiary, now known as Disney Streaming, at $6 billion, a 40% jump over the last 15 months.
The move was one that Disney had the right to trigger this year, and comes days after Bob Iger returned as CEO after the company was led by Bob Chapek for two years.
Iger championed Disney’s emphasis on streaming during the latter part of his 15-year tenure atop the company as subscriber losses increased at ESPN, Disney Channel, and other cable properties.
- Created in 2015 as part of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, BAMTech was a streaming pioneer. The NHL was among the other investors outside of MLB.
- Disney purchased its first stake (33%) in 2016 for about $1 billion.
- In 2017, Disney paid $1.58 billion to increase its total ownership in BAMTech to 75%.
- The NHL sold its 10% stake to Disney last year for $350 million.
Consumer cord-cutting continues to hammer legacy media companies, and Disney is no exception.
Disney’s largest cable networks, ESPN and Disney Channel, each lost 2 million subscribers during the company’s year ending Oct. 1, 2022.