The first time rumors of Disney buying Netflix popped up, was around the same time they announced that Star Wars and Disney Films would be heading to the Streaming Networks last year. It makes sense. Disney likes to dip a toe in the water and then move in for the acquisition. It’s how they ended up with The Muppets and Marvel. Hell, I’m still waiting for them to finally make their move and buy Hasbro. Until then, the rumor is that they’ll be busy ironing out their agreement to absorb Netflix.
The rumor is coming from Techcrunch, who suggests that Disney is eyeing the acquisition, in part, as a way to compensate for the huge declines that they’ve seen in ESPN subscriptions, as well as an end run against AT&T’s upcoming acquisition of Time Warner.
Adding to the rumor is the fact that Netflix’s CEO, Reed Hastings is the most likely replacement for Disney CEO, Bob Iger, when he retires in two years. Also, it’s important to realize that this isn’t just about Disney buying something. Netflix has been looking to boost it’s original content to 50% of it’s total offerings, and having Disney in their corner could go a long way. After all, their recent dalliances into the world of Marvel with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage have all be major successes.
Time will tell if this is a rumor or maybe something more. One thing is for sure, if it does happen, it’s one more nail in the coffin of Cable TV.