Disney CEO Bob Iger on Thursday delivered a blow to Netflix, saying the company had decided to move Marvel and “Star Wars” films to its forthcoming streaming service, set to launch in 2019.
The announcement ends speculation about what would happen to the Marvel and Lucasfilm titles currently being streamed on Netflix. When the Walt Disney Company announced last month that it would launch a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service, Iger said Disney and Pixar movies on Netflix would move to the planned streaming service.
“We’ve now decided we will put the Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ movies on this app as well,” Iger said during a question-and-answer session at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media’s communications and entertainment conference held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Iger also narrowed the time frame when the Disney streaming service will launch, saying he expects it will go live in late 2019. The announcement of a streaming platform signaled Disney felt ready to compete in the digital streaming space that Netflix has dominated in recent years. Netflix has been ramping up its original offerings in an effort to reduce its dependency on licensing content like Disney hits “Zootopia,” “Finding Dory,” and “Rogue One.”
Shortly after Disney announced its plans, Netflix hit back by poaching ABC Television hitmaker Shonda Rhimes in an exclusive overall deal. Rhimes, the “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator, has spent more then a decade at Disney’s ABC. The development came amid negotiations between Disney and Netflix over the streaming rights to Marvel and Lucasfilm titles.
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SOURCE: Variety, Ricardo Lopez