Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution
FormerlyWalt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International (2018–2020)
Company typeDivision
FoundedMarch 14, 2018; 5 years ago (2018-03-14)
DefunctFebruary 8, 2023; 11 months ago (2023-02-08)
SuccessorDisney Entertainment
HeadquartersWalt Disney Studios, ,
Area served
Key people
ServicesFilm distribution, film promotion, music recording, music publishing, over-the-top streaming
ParentThe Walt Disney Company

Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED), formerly Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI), was one of The Walt Disney Company's five major business segments consisting of Disney's streaming services and overseas media businesses, formed in March 2018. As part of the segment's formation, Disney Streaming Services (formerly BAMTech) was placed under Direct-to-Consumer & International.[1]

On October 12, 2020, DTCI was dissolved and its business segments were split into Disney International Content and Operations and Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution after Disney initiated a reorganization of its various media and entertainment divisions.[2] The business currently consists of Disney's streaming services, its advertising sales division, and its linear television networks, along with broadcast, cable and international syndication. It is focused on the strategic monetization of titles from Disney's three content groups: Studios, General Entertainment, and ESPN & Sports.[3][4]

In February 2023, returning CEO Bob Iger began to re-organize all Disney divisions as part of the company's larger reorganization. This will include the move of DMED's responsibilities into a new Disney Entertainment division overseeing all filmed and screen content and its networks and streaming venues, excluding ESPN and sports operations.


In 1997, Disney and Sony Pictures formed a film distribution joint venture in Southeast Asia which covered five countries.[5] From 1999 to 2000, Bob Iger was president of Walt Disney International and chairman of ABC TV Group.[6] until he was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the Walt Disney Company.[7]

Michael O. Johnson, later CEO of Herbalife, was president of Walt Disney International from 2000 - 2003.[8]

Andy Bird became the next president of Walt Disney International in 2004.[9][10] At the time of Bird's appointment, most countries' units except in Latin America operated independently. He took the Latin America-integrated operation as a guide for other regions. Strategically, Bird wanted their companies to be the Walt Disney Company of India and other countries, not the Walt Disney Company of a certain country, basically tailoring the company to the country with, for example, localization of programming.[11] Diego Lerner, who led Disney Latin America, was thus named President of Disney Europe, Middle East & Africa in 2009.[12]

Buena Vista International and Sony Pictures Releasing International formed fourteen distribution joint ventures, including in Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. Another Buena Vista-Sony distribution joint venture was set up in Russia in December 2006.[13]

The Walt Disney Company's CIS office in Russia opened in 2006.[14] The company's original plan was for to release three films per year.[15] In 2009, Disney CIS released its first Russian language-film, The Book of Masters which took in 10.8 million on a budget of $8 million. By April 2011, the company announced that director Vladimir Grammatikov was hired by the company as creative producer, while two more Russian films were placed into production: A fairy tale and a youth story.[16] Instead, the country's unit took a seven-year hiatus until they announced the production on The Last Knight in April 2016.[14][17] On November 26, 2017, the film became the highest-grossing local-language release of all time in Russia, with a gross of 1.68 billion rubles ($28.8 million).[17]

In 2014, Walt Disney International appointed Luke Kang to head its Greater China unit.[18] Disney's South East Asia managing director Rob Gilby appointed three managers for Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, who were Herry Salim, Veronica Espinosa-Cabalinan, and Subha-Orn Rathanamongkolmas (Soupy) respectively, in May 2017.[19]

Paul Candland was promoted from president of Walt Disney Japan to president of The Walt Disney Company Asia, consisting of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Greater China in July 2014. Stanley Cheung was also promoted from managing director to chairman of TWDC Greater China. Both reported to Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International.[20]

With the retirement of the Asia unit's head Paul Candland after 19 years in September 2017, Disney split the Asia unit into two: North Asia and South Asia. North Asia consists of Japan, South Korea and Greater China and is headed by Kang, while South Asia combined India and South East Asia. The India unit's head Mahesh Samat would assume leadership of the South Asia unit by October 1, and the South East Asia unit's head Gilby left the company.[18] Later in September, Lerner was transferred to a new position within Walt Disney International, with Rebecca Campbell, the then-president of ABC Daytime and ABC Owned Television Stations, named to replace him as president of Disney EMEA.[12] In February 2017, Sony Pictures withdrew from the Philippines-distribution joint venture, followed by a withdrawing in August 2017 from the remainder of the Southeast Asian distribution joint venture with Disney.[5]

In November 2015, Disney UK started Disney's test streaming service, DisneyLife, with Disney films, TV series, books and music tracks, under general manager Paul Brown.[21] The original plan had the service spreading to other countries in Europe, including France, Spain, Italy and Germany in 2016.[22] In October 2017, the Republic of Ireland was the second country where DisneyLife was made available.[23] DisneyLife was launched in China in December 2017 through a partnership between Disney and Alibaba Digital Entertainment, only to have the Chinese government shut it down in August 2018 because of foreign content rules.[24] Instead, in February 2018, Disney and Alibaba reached a new deal that placed Disney content on Alibaba's Youku streaming platform.[25] On May 25, 2018, DisneyLife was expanded to the Philippines, making it the third country where the service was available.[26] In 2019, following the announcement of the UK Disney+ release date, Disney revealed that existing service DisneyLife would be folded into Disney+.[27]

In August 2016, The Walt Disney Company acquired a 1/3 stake in BAMTech for $1 billion, with an option to acquire a majority stake in the said company the future.[28] On August 8, 2017, Disney announced that it would increase its ownership in the company to a 75% controlling stake for $1.58 billion.[29] Disney also reiterated its plan to launch an ESPN-branded over-the-top service in early-2018, followed by a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019.[30]


As Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International (2018–2020)

Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International logo used from March 14, 2018, until October 12, 2020.

Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) were formed as part of The Walt Disney Company’s March 14, 2018, strategic reorganization in anticipation of integrating 21st Century Fox's assets, with units coming from all of the other segments.[1][31] Kevin Mayer was named as the new segment's chairman.[31] With the restructuring, Disney International chairman Andy Bird is expected to leave The Walt Disney Company.[1] On May 25, 2018, Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International was incorporated.[32]

ESPN+ would officially launch on April 12, 2018.[33] BAMTech was renamed to Disney Streaming Services by October 10, 2018. At that time, ESPN's chief technology officer Aaron LaBerge was named to the new position as executive vice president and chief technology officer of DTCI Technology, leading a group that combined technologists and teams from across multiple parts of The Walt Disney Company.[34]

On October 31, 2018, ESPN International's executive vice president and managing director Russell Wolff was named executive vice president and general manager of ESPN+, reporting to Disney Streaming Services (formerly BAMTech Media). ESPN International's regional general managers started reporting to DTCI's regional leadership.[35]

The post-merger organization of the company was announced on December 13, 2018, with Lerner and Campbell remaining over the Latin American and EMEA regions. The EMEA region added Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States countries, while a new Asia Pacific region would replace South Asia and North Asia. Disney named Uday Shankar, who previously served as president of Fox Asia and chairman of the Star India, as head of the new region and chair of Disney India. The three regional heads and Janice Marinelli, president of global content sales and distribution, would report to Mayer.[36] Mahesh Samat, South Asia's head, moved to Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products as executive vice president of Disney Consumer Products for Asia Pacific in late November 2018.[37] The Acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney was completed on March 20, 2019, with Disney International took ownership of Fox's networks outside the United States.[38]

Shankar announced the Asia-Pacific unit's management team on April 1, 2019. The team included former several Fox executives, including Star Regional Media Networks' K Madhavan as head of Star India's regional language channels and Kurt Rieder as studio chief of Asian Pacific, with India's film operations reporting separately. Certain other Fox executives left the company in the reorganization, including head of international distribution Andrew Cripps, and Zubin Gandevia, head of Fox Networks Group in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Disney's Malaysia and Singapore head Amit Malhotra would lead emerging markets and South Asia Pacific content sales, reporting to Shankar. Chafic Najia, a Disney senior vice president, was promoted to the Middle East'x media cluster manager. Disney's Australia and New Zealand manager Kylie Watson-Wheeler added media networks and direct-to-consumer to her responsibilities.[39]

In July 2019, Marinelli announced her resignation, ending a 34-year long tenure with the company.[40] Disney announced it would combine all the company's media sales and channel distribution into one organization. ESPN's executive vice president Justin Connolly was promoted to the newly created role of president of media distribution, reporting to Mayer.[41]

On January 31, 2020, it was announced that Hulu CEO Randy Freer would be stepping down, as the position of CEO was removed, with all Hulu executives now reporting directly to corresponding DTCI business heads. Hulu's original programming team would continue reporting to chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment and FX on Hulu to the FX chairman.[42]

On March 12, 2020, Vanessa Morrison, who previously served as President of Fox Family and Fox Animation, was appointed President of Streaming for Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production and will oversee development and production of Disney+ film content from The Walt Disney Studios for both Disney Live Action and 20th Century Studios.[43] Morrison answers directly to head of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey.[43]

On May 18, 2020, Mayer stepped down as DTCI chairman to become the CEO of TikTok. He was succeeded by Rebecca Campbell, who was previously the president of Disneyland Resort.[44] This was soon followed by the transfer of the sales division (ad and distribution) to Disney Media Networks.[45]

On August 4, 2020, Disney announced that it would launch a Star-branded streaming service in 2021. This will be a general entertainment service, featuring content from ABC Signature, 20th Television, FX, Freeform, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures. The streaming service will be integrated with Disney+ in most countries.[46][47]

As Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (2020–2023)

On October 12, 2020, it was announced that Disney would effectively restructuring its media and entertainment businesses, which resulted in the dissolution of Disney Media Networks and Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International, thus two business segments being created in their place: Disney International Content and Operations, responsible for managing the international operations of The Walt Disney Company; and Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, responsible for handling the company's streaming services, advertising operations, and its linear and syndicated television networks.[48]

Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution was formed as part of The Walt Disney Company's media and entertainment structural reorganization, which took place October 12, 2020, and made primarily due to the success of Disney's streaming services, mainly Disney+.[3] Kareem Daniel was named as the chairman for the new segment. As part of this reorganization, Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International along with Disney Media Networks were dissolved and two business segments were created in their place: Disney International Content and Operations, focused on Disney's international subsidiaries, and Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, focused on said streaming services, its advertising divisions, and Disney's linear and syndicated television networks.

Following the segment's financial losses in Q4 2022, Bob Iger was reinstated as Disney's CEO and announced that he would replace DMED with a new structure that gives decision-making and operational control back to the creative teams. As part of the impending restructure, Daniel exited as chairman of DMED.[49] DMED was dismantled in February 2023, as part of Iger's reorganization of the company into three new segments.[50]



Disney Streaming (Direct-to-consumer & Technology)

Ad sales

Digital products


Platform distribution


Digital products



Unit From Years[31]
Disney Digital Network Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media 2018–2020
BAMTech (75%)[35] Disney corporate strategy office 2018—2020
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Walt Disney Studios 2018—2020[45]
Disney–ABC Domestic Television Walt Disney Television (WDT)
Disney Channels Worldwide (International) 2018—2020
Hulu (30%)
ABC News Digital and Live Streaming
Disney Media Distribution 2018—2020[45]
DATG advertising sales
ESPN sales and marketing ESPN Inc.
ESPN International regional businesses 10/2018—10/2020[35]
21st Century Fox 2019—2020
Walt Disney International South Asia[18] Walt Disney International 2018–2020[53]
The Walt Disney Company EMEA
Walt Disney International North Asia[18]
  • The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Co., Ltd.
  • Walt Disney Greater China
    • The Walt Disney Company (China) Ltd.
    • The Walt Disney Company (Taiwan) Ltd.
  • The Walt Disney Company (Korea) LLC.
The Walt Disney Company Latin America


  1. ^ a b c Barnes, Brooks (March 14, 2018). "Disney Reorganization Anticipates 21st Century Fox Assets". The New York Times. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Low, Elaine (October 12, 2020). "Disney Reorganizes Content and Distribution Units to Bolster Streaming Businesses". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  3. ^ a b The Walt Disney Company (October 12, 2020). "The Walt Disney Company Announces Strategic Reorganization of Its Media and Entertainment Businesses". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  4. ^ Pallotta, Frank (October 12, 2020). "Disney to overhaul its entertainment business with focus on streaming". CNN Business. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (August 14, 2017). "Sony Launches Its Own Theatrical Distributors in Southeast Asia (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Newcomb, Horace, ed. (2004). Encyclopedia of Television (Second ed.). Routledge. p. 1168. ISBN 978-1579583941.
  7. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (January 25, 2000). "Disney Names New President In Reshuffling". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  8. ^ Street Journal, Bruce OrwallStaff Reporter of The Wall (April 4, 2003). "Herbalife International Names Disney's Johnson as Its CEO". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  9. ^ "Andy Bird: Mister Mouse of Warrington". The Independent. December 19, 2005. Retrieved May 14, 2008.
  10. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (March 19, 2018). "Andy Bird Steps Down as Chairman of Walt Disney International". TheWrap. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Szalai, Georg (November 19, 2015). "Walt Disney International Boss Talks Running a Successful Business Worldwide". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy (September 21, 2017). "Disney Intl Names Rebecca Campbell President For Europe, Middle East & Africa". Deadline. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  13. ^ Holdsworth, Nick (December 27, 2006). "Disney, Sony team up for Russian content". The Hollywood Reporter. AP. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Kozlov, Vladimir (April 20, 2016). "Disney Resumes Local-Language Movie Production in Russia After 7-Year Break". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  15. ^ "Disney in the tale hit". Kommersant. April 19, 2016. p. 1. Retrieved July 30, 2018. Translation.
  16. ^ Kozlov, Vladimir (April 20, 2011). "Disney to Begin Production of Two Russian-Language Movies This Summer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Vladimir, Kozlov (November 27, 2017). "Russia Box Office: Disney Film Becomes Top Local-Language Release of All Time". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  18. ^ a b c d Frater, Patrick (September 12, 2017). "Disney Splits Asia Regional Management in Two". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  19. ^ "Disney appoints country managers". The Nation. May 7, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  20. ^ The Deadline Team (July 29, 2014). "Paul Candland Upped To President Of The Walt Disney Company Asia". Deadline. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  21. ^ Sweney, Mark (November 23, 2015). "Disney hands over keys to kingdom with launch of online TV service". the Guardian. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  22. ^ Barraclough, Leo (October 21, 2015). "Disney to Launch Subscription Streaming Service in U.K." Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  23. ^ Maguire, Jack (October 11, 2017). "Disneylife streaming service has arrived in Ireland". Irish Mirror. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  24. ^ Frater, Patrick (April 26, 2016). "DisneyLife Taken Off Air by China Regulators". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  25. ^ Frater, Patrick (February 12, 2018). "Disney Cartoons Expand in China on Alibaba's Youku Platform". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  26. ^ Gonzales, Gelo (May 25, 2018). "Disney launches own streaming app in PH, costs P149 monthly on Globe". Rappler. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  27. ^ "DisneyLife will be rebranded as Disney+ in the UK". uk.movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  28. ^ Soshnick, Scott; Palmeri, Christopher (June 30, 2016). "Disney Said to Buy Stake in $3.5 Billion MLB Web Unit". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  29. ^ "Marvel and Star Wars films will ditch Netflix for Disney's own service". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  30. ^ Spangler, Todd (August 8, 2017). "Disney to End Netflix Deal, Sets Launch of ESPN and Disney-Branded Streaming Services". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  31. ^ a b c Spangler, Todd (March 14, 2018). "Disney Reorganizes Divisions, Creates Dedicated Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Unit". Variety. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  32. ^ "Articles of Incorporation of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumers & International" (PDF). California Business Search. California State Secretary of State. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  33. ^ "ESPN+ will launch on April 12th for $4.99 per month". The Verge. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  34. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 10, 2018). "Disney Appoints ESPN's Aaron LaBerge as CTO of Streaming and International Division". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  35. ^ a b c Spangler, Todd (October 31, 2018). "Disney Puts Longtime ESPN Exec Russell Wolff in Charge of ESPN+ Streaming Service". Variety. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  36. ^ Clarke, Stewart (December 13, 2018). "Disney Sets Out International Leadership Team Post-Fox Deal". Variety. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  37. ^ "The Walt Disney Company appoints new Head of Consumer Products Commercialization". Retail News Asia. Mojju. November 27, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  38. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (March 19, 2019). "Disney Closes $71 Billion 21st Century Fox Deal". Variety. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  39. ^ Frater, Patrick (April 1, 2019). "Disney Gives Leadership Roles to Several Fox Staffers in Asia Reshuffle". Variety. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  40. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 16, 2019). "Disney's Longtime Head of Global Sales and Distribution to Exit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  41. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 18, 2019). "ESPN's Justin Connolly to Lead Combined Disney Sales Team". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  42. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 31, 2020). "Hulu CEO Randy Freer Exits As Streamer Is Integrated Into Disney's Direct-to-Consumer & International Unit". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  43. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 12, 2020). "Steve Asbell Takes Over 20th Century Studios Post Emma Watts; Vanessa Morrison Named Walt Disney Studios Streaming Production President". Deadline. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  44. ^ Barnes, Brooks (May 18, 2020). "Disney's Head of Streaming Is New TikTok C.E.O." The New York Times. Los Angeles. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  45. ^ a b c "Disney Shifts Ad Sales Group to Media Networks Division". The Hollywood Reporter. May 21, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  46. ^ Alexander, Julia (August 4, 2020). "Disney is launching a new Star-branded streaming service internationally". TheVerge. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  47. ^ Feiner, Lauren; Hipes, Sarah (August 4, 2020). "Disney shares rise after the company says it has 100 million streaming subscribers, plans to launch a new streaming service". CNBC. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  48. ^ The Walt Disney Company (October 12, 2020). "The Walt Disney Company Announces Strategic Reorganization of Its Media and Entertainment Businesses". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  49. ^ Hayes, Dade (November 21, 2022). "Kareem Daniel Exits Disney As Bob Iger Sets Restructuring Of Media And Entertainment Distribution Division". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  50. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (February 8, 2023). "Disney Reorganizes Into Three Segments, Entertainment, ESPN & Parks". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 9, 2023. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  51. ^ Hayes, Dade (May 18, 2020). "Disney's Rebecca Campbell Caps Remarkable Rise From Stations To Top Streaming Role". Deadline. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  52. ^ White, Peter (June 5, 2019). "'LA's Finest': Fox Networks Group Takes UK Rights To Gabrielle Union & Jessica Alba Action Drama". Deadline. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  53. ^ Wang, Christine (March 14, 2018). "Disney announces strategic reorganization, effective immediately". CNBC. Retrieved March 14, 2018.