Disney paid $900 million to Major League Baseball (MLB) earlier this month to buy the league’s remaining 15% stake in streaming company BAMTech, according to a report. SEC filings to the public on Tuesday.
The transaction makes Disney a 100% owner of the streaming company that powers Disney+ and its other consumer services.
The SEC filing notes that MLB’s interest in BAMTech is recorded in the entertainment company’s financial statements as $828 million, and in November Disney purchased shares of MLB for $900 million. Last week, Disney announced that Bob Iger is returning to the company as CEO replacing Bob Chapek. Since this transaction was made earlier this month, it is probably one of Chapek’s last big moves.
In the filing, Disney said Iger will “initiate organizational and operational changes within the Company to address the Board’s goals” in the coming months.
MLB founded MLB Advanced Media in 2000 to power its website and streaming. It spun off the streaming division as BAMTech in 2015. A year later, Disney invested $1 billion for 33% stake in BAMTech. In 2017, this entertainment group invested an additional $1.58 billion to buy an additional 42% stake. In 2021, National Hockey League (NHL) sold its 10% stake to Disney for $350 million—boosting Disney’s stake in BAMTech to 85%.
This move comes a few days before Disney+ is set to launch grant advertising support. In the third quarter of 2022, the streaming service registration increased 12 million subscribers with a total of 164.2 million subscribers worldwide.