Why, for one obvious reason: Disney is likely eyeing the launch of its own streaming service.
Prior to the platform's launch, Disney has also announced it will offer an ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service in early 2018.
Instead, its "family focused" films - including the upcoming Frozen 2, Toy Story 4 and live-action Lion King - will be available to the consumer on Disney's own streaming service, which will launch first in the USA and then globally.More news: Researchers Have Named a Prehistoric Crocodile After Motörhead's Lemmy
Disney has announced that it's pulling its movies from Netflix in 2019, in favour of launching its own streaming service the same year, though there is no mention of Marvel and Star Wars movies being pulled as well. While this move undoubtedly will be a success for Disney, the fallout was concerning for Netflix subscribers.
"The media landscape is increasingly defined by direct relationships between content creators and consumers, and our control of BAMTech's full array of innovative technology will give us the power to forge those connections, along with the flexibility to quickly adapt to shifts in the market", said Robert Iger, Disney chairman and chief executive. The new service will include about 10,000 live games from leagues including Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.
When Disney pulls out of its U.S. Netflix deal in 2019, all new movies will become exclusive to specific ABC platforms (which are now in the process of being created). Existing movies from Disney and Pixar will remain on Netflix until their current deals expire.
The Disney news arrives just days after CBS revealed its CBS All Access SVOD service will launch internationally next year beginning with Canada. The Disney-branded film and TV offering would include original content developed by Walt Disney Studios. "Yet, we've merely scratched the surface of what can be accomplished in a future where we combine Disney and ESPN's world-class [intellectual property] and our proprietary direct-to-consumer ecosystem". Netflix has been rated more popular than its closest two competitors combined and Netflix series racked up more nominations at this year's Emmy Awards than any other streaming service.