Say Goodbye to Star Wars and Marvel Movies on Netflix

Image via Lucasfilm

Image via Lucasfilm

"We've now decided we will put the Marvel and 'Star Wars" movies on this app as well, ' Iger said during a question-and-answer session at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media's communications and entertainment conference held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Mr. Iger said Disney is also working on five original, live-action, Disney-branded movies that will be delivered exclusively through the service.

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Netflix played down the effect of Disney's announcement, and said it would continue to do business with Disney globally, including its relationship with Disney's Marvel TV. The Disney-specific streaming service was only one of its projects, however - there was also news of an ESPN streaming service to be launched by the company in early 2018.

Netflix and Disney originally inked the licensing pact for the USA pay-TV window in 2012, under which Netflix secured streaming rights to the Mouse House's films starting with 2016 releases. The service is expected in late 2019 after Disney's current deal with Netflix expires. However, it will bolster the amount of premium content available on its own digital service and thus, Mr. Iger is betting, its appeal to consumers. Analysts are expecting the company to earn $5.88 this year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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Part of the muted reaction from Netflix investors is likely because investors were already bracing for the impact of the Mouse House pulling back Pixar and Disney titles: Netflix's shares dropped 7% the week following Disney's over-the-top announcement last month. "ESPN and Disney are two of them". He also said the company plans to launch the app by 2019. Rhimes, the Grey's Anatomy and Scandal creator, has spent more then a decade at Disney's ABC. Iger did not announce how much the service will cost. Disney shares were down almost 3% in midday trading after the news broke, on what has so far been a down day overall for the Dow and S&P 500 indexes.

Fourteen Disney films have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, including two "Star Wars" releases and four Marvel movies.

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