Walt Disney to shut down 100 TV channels in 2021: Bob Chapek

The Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Chapek notes that consumers are increasingly choosing to watch content online, and Disney wants to stay ahead of the trend

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 26, 2021 12:15 PM  | 2 min read

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The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek has said that the company will shut down 100 TV channels in 2021 as it pivots to a digital-first strategy with Disney+ at the centre of it. In 2020, the company had closed 30 channels.
In April, Disney had decided to shut 18 TV channels in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong move with effect from October 1, 2021. Many of the channels that are being shut down had joined the network as part of the 21st Century Fox acquisition.

The channels that will be shut down include: Fox, Fox Crime, Fox Life, FX, and Channel V; movie channels Fox Action Movies, Fox Family Movies, Fox Movies, and Star Movies China; sports channels Fox Sports, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports 3, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2; kids channel Disney Channel and Disney Junior; factual services Nat Geo People and SCM Legend.

"Well, we closed 30 channels in FY2020 or in 2020. We plan to close 100 in 2021. So yes, we will continue and continue at a robust rate. And then the content to your question, we'll continue to migrate to Disney+, the great majority of that content will migrate to Disney+," Chapek said while speaking at the JPMorgan 49th Annual Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference.

He, however, noted that the decision to shut down channels will not be uniform across markets since each market is different from the other. "And again, the decisions that we make in individual channels and individual markets, and the timing of such are sort of framed up by existing deals that we've gotten some of the constraints we've got there, but as you can see, that continues to be a core strategy for us as we pivot towards direct-to-consumer."

Chapek noted that consumers are increasingly choosing to watch content online, and Disney wants to stay ahead of the trend, Chapek said. “We don’t want to be on the back end of that wave,” he said. “We want to be on the front end of that wave.”

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