Los Angeles: In a major announcement, The Walt Disney Company has announced that it will close down almost 100 cable channels in 2021 as the company shifts towards building a more robust D2C story.
Disney had earlier declared that 18 channels including Star Sports & Fox Sports in South East Asia will be shut. Disney’s chief executive Bob Chapek divulged the plans.
“We closed 30 channels in the fiscal year 2020 or in 2020. We plan to close 100 in 2021,” Chapek, who was speaking at JPMorgan’s annual Global Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Conference, was quoted by Inside Sport portal.
“We will continue at a robust rate. We’ll continue to migrate [content] to Disney+, the great majority of that content will migrate to Disney+.
“The decisions that we make in individual channels and individual markets, and the timing of such, are sort of framed up by [terms of] existing deals. 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 toward direct-to-consumer,” he said.
A total of 18 channels will close in the region including Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Fox Sports, Fox Sports, Fox Sports 3 by September 2021.
The Chief Executive, however, wasn’t clear on whether any of the Disney channel will also be shut down in India. But he disclosed some insights into the Indian market approach for the company.
“We have an unparalleled collection of entertainment and sports in our Hotstar offering, something we’re really proud of. But India is really a unique market because we have particularly what I’ll call mass-market pricing and distribution,” he was quoted at the conference.
“It’s a unique market in terms of that distribution because it’s really a mobile-first market, which is kind of unusual. They have low bandwidth, so [we] have to tailor our offerings to match that low bandwidth and local languages are particularly important there. So we have to sort of customize for each of those unique elements,” he opined.