NHL cashes in Disney streamer
August 13, 2021
The National Hockey League (NHL) has exercised its option to sell its 10 per cent shareholding in Disney Streaming Services, the interactive media and Internet company formerly known as BAMTech Media, to The Walt Disney Company for $350 million (€297m).
The NHL exercised its ‘put option’ and the transaction is expected to close prior to the end of Disney’s 2021 fiscal year. After its closing, Disney will own 85 per cent of Disney Streaming Services with the remainder held by Major League Baseball.
In 2017, Disney acquired a majority shareholding in BAMTech, paying $1.58 billion to secure an additional 42 per cent. MLB created the digital streaming entity in 2015 as a spin-off of MLB Advanced Media. Disney initially acquired a 33 per cent stake in 2016 for $1 billion.
The NHL had the right to sell its interest for $350 million this year, while Disney had the right to acquire its shareholding for $500 million. In 2019, Disney renamed the business Disney Streaming Services as part of the switch to its Disney+ and ESPN+ direct-to-consumer streaming services.