Architect of Amazon Prime Video Tapped as New CEO of BAMTech
Michael Paull, a digital media executive from Amazon, has been hired to lead BAMTech, the $3 billion video-streaming company on which Walt Disney has bet its digital future, according to Bloomberg.
The announcement was made by MLB Advanced Media, which sold one-third of BAMTech to Disney in August. The company’s technology currently powers digital video for WWE Network, the PGA Tour and HBO Now, among others. It is also expanding into Europe in a partnership with Discovery Communications.
At BAMTech, Paull will help Disney’s ESPN launch a subscription streaming service, a product designed to help ease the company’s reliance on cable subscriptions. With higher costs and fewer subscribers, ESPN’s profit has been falling, dragging down results in the cable TV division overall. With the highest subscriber rates in pay TV, ESPN is especially vulnerable to cord-cutting.
For the last three years, Paull has been vice President of digital video for Amazon. He oversaw the introduction of Prime Video, the company’s answer to Netflix, and significantly increased the production of original series and films. Paull takes over from founding executive, Bob Bowman, MLB’s president of business and media. Bowman will also serve on the seven-member BAMTech board of directors, along with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, ESPN President John Skipper, Disney executive Kevin Mayer and Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, which is also an investor in the company.