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Disney pays NHL to buy stake in streaming tech platform

This deal will provide NHL with the much-needed $350 million cash influx into their league.

The Walt Disney Co. will be paying the National Hockey League (NHL) $350 million to buy the league’s 10 per cent stake in Disney Streaming Services.

Disney Streaming Services is the subsidiary of Disney that manages the technology platform that powers the company’s streaming services, like Disney+ and ESPN+. The subsidiary was earlier known as BAMTech.

The deal will provide NHL with the much-needed $350 million cash influx into their league.

NHL has the right to sell its stake, exercised the option this year, and sold its 10% stake to Disney. With the deal set to close by the end of the year, Disney will then own an 85 per cent stake of Disney Streaming Services, with Major League Baseball (MLB) owning the remaining 15 per cent stake.

The streaming technology company was earlier created by MLB as an offshoot of MLB advanced media in 2015 after which Disney acquired a majority stake in the streaming company in 2017. MLB will also gain the right to sell its remaining stake in the streaming company in September 2022, with Disney having an option to buy it from them. Reports suggest that the minimum price for MLB’s stake is currently valued at $752 million.

Earlier this year, Disney had struck a seven-year rights deal with NHL, giving ESPN, ESPN+, and Hulu exclusive games, with some Stanley Cup playoff games set to air on ABC beginning with the 2021-22 season.

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