"This represents a big strategic shift for the company," CEO Bob Iger said. "We felt that having control of a platform we've been very impressed with after buying 33 percent of it a year ago would give us control of our destiny."
Disney will also be launching its own ESPN video streaming service in the early part of next year. The new platform is reportedly going to stream around 10,000 sporting events per year from the MLB, NHL, MLS, collegiate sports and tennis Grand Slam tournaments.
To help power the streaming services, Disney is purchasing a majority ownership of BAM Tech for $1.58 billion. In August of 2016, Disney bought 33 percent stake in the digital media company, which was spun off from MLB Advanced Media. Disney is now acquiring an additional 42 percent.
"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. This acquisition and the launch of our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the company, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands," Iger said.