Disney to shut down 100 international streaming TV channels
The closures come on top of 30 foreign networks the company shut down last year.
Walt Disney Co. plans to shut down 100 of its international TV channels this year as it moves towards a future where streaming services such as Disney + are at the forefront.
Speaking at JPMorgan’s annual global technology, media and telecommunications conference, chief executive Bob Chapek, said the shutdowns come on top of 30 foreign networks the company shut down last year.
Chapek said the chains and when they close would depend on Disney’s contacts in those individual markets. Profits from some of its traditional TV networks help pay for programming that can be shown on its streaming services, including Hulu and ESPN + in the United States.
The company has made it clear that Disney + is its current priority, with the media giant pulling its content from Sky and Virgin Media channels in the UK last year in preparation for the streamer’s launch.
“The vast majority of this content will migrate to Disney +,” Chapek said. “This continues to be a core strategy for us as we move towards direct-to-consumer sales. “
Fox, Fox Crime, Fox Life and FX are among those slated to close in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong later this year, less than three years since Disney acquired them through its purchase of 21st Century Fox.
The Disney Junior and Disney Channel children’s networks are also being phased out, according to local reports, along with Nat Geo People and SCM Legend. Fox Action Movies, Fox Family Movies, Fox Movies, and Star Movies China are also disbanded, along with five sports channels.
However, recent Disney second quarter results suggest that the 2020 SVOD boom has slowed as Disney + failed to meet analysts’ forecasts for new subscribers in the second quarter of 2021. The streaming service has it all. even ended the period with 103.6 million subscribers, up 33.5 million year-over-year. The total, however, was significantly lower than expected at 109.3 m.
Seeking to further strengthen its offering, last month Disney struck a multi-year deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment that will allow Mouse House to secure the streaming and linear rights in the United States to film franchises such Spider Man.