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Disney creates streaming video unit for digital future

Reuters  |  LOS ANGELES 

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Co said on Wednesday it had created a new unit for its and international businesses as the company retools its traditional for a world rapidly embracing

Kevin Mayer, the company's chief strategy officer, was named of the new division, which will oversee the upcoming ESPN+ digital offering and the launch of a family-oriented streaming service in late 2019, said in a statement.

The move, effective immediately, comes as is in the process of purchasing film, TV and international businesses from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

Regulators are reviewing the deal, which has been complicated by Comcast Corp's offer for one of the assets, Britain's

Disney also combined its theme parks with the consumer products unit that licenses characters for toys, apparel and other merchandise. Bob Chapek, who heads the parks division, will lead the combined unit.

and the movie studio will remain separate units, Disney said.

"We are strategically positioning our businesses for the future, creating a more effective, global framework to serve consumers worldwide, increase growth, and maximize shareholder value," Disney said in a statement.

Disney's largest TV network, ESPN, has been losing subscribers as customers drop pay television subscriptions in favour of such as

The company is responding with its own digital push. It is pulling its first-run movies from Netflix in 2019 to offer them on the Disney-branded service.

If the Fox deal wins approval, Disney also will expand its programming portfolio and international reach, plus own a majority stake in the Hulu streaming service.

Disney expects to switch its financial reporting to reflect the new structure by the beginning of fiscal 2019, the company said.

Shares of Disney rose 0.5 percent to $104.33 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 23:27 IST