Disney moves forward on its D2C strategy and plans to shut down 100 linear TV channels this year

Bob Chapek, CEO at The Walt Disney Company,  has recently announced that the company will shut down 100 of its linear TV channels on a global scale during the rest of 2021, with the aim of moving forward on its D2C strategy. In Latin America, Disney launched Disney+ in November 2020, and announced the launch of Star+ days ago, scheduled for August 31st. The executive’s announcements took place during the last JP Morgan’s Technology, Media and Communications Conference.

‘We closed 30 channels in fiscal year 2020 or in 2020. We plan to close 100 in 2021’, reported Chapek  ‘We have already closed about 30 channels in 2020, and we plan to close another 100 in 2021. We will continue at a robust rate, and we will continue to migrate content to Disney+. The great majority of that content will migrate to the platform’, the executive added. Chapek did not confirm whether the measure will affect the markets in which Disney operates in Latin America, but he reported that  ‘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’.

In dialogue with the Argentine newspaper La Nacion days before the launch of Disney+ in Latin America, Diego Lerner, President at The Walt Disney Company Latin America, reported that ‘our most emblematic linear channels, such as Disney Channel and its derivatives content, will continue to be available through cable distribution systems or similars’. As of its launch in the region, Disney+ is the exclusive destination for a selection of films and series from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, as well as exclusive original productions.