Disney Helps Kill TV With Announcement About Cuts

By Jason Collins | Published

Well, Disney is having a laugh right about now, as they’re killing traditional Disney TV in favor of boosting their own streaming platform. The news comes after Disney previously stated that it’s cutting production in several announced projects to promote quality over quantity—after several dozen of its releases didn’t fare well with the critics and the audiences.

Disney CEO Is Changing Plans

The announcement came directly from Disney CEO Bob Iger, who stated that traditional TV programs continue to shrink, with the company cutting down its investment in Disney TV programming to reflect the changes.

This includes programming for regular TV networks while also cutting down on overall content spending across streaming platforms. The end goal, however, remains the same—to reduce the investments in content that are specifically produced for traditional TV networks while boosting streaming profitability.

Entertainment Giant Trying To Find Its Footing

What makes the whole announcement interesting is the fact that Disney’s shares fell 3 percent following Iger’s announcement about cutting down on traditional Disney TV. However, while this market reaction is expected, Iger isn’t wrong; Disney’s TV assets, including ABC, FX, and National Geographic, have experienced a steady decline in viewership and profitability, thanks to the rise and growth of streaming.

It was quite obvious that Disney flew into the streaming game somewhat late, and without an adequate plan in place, which is why the company invested billions into creating tons of content that would appease a wider number of audiences. Despite the massive fandom the company had garnered over the past century, that, obviously, wasn’t a good choice. That’s why Iger is looking to eliminate linear Disney TV.

Classic TV Moving Towards A Streaming Future

By reducing the content aimed at traditional Disney TV, the company aims to cut expenses. At the same time, the valuable content featured on its linear TV assets, such as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, is shifting towards Disney+ streaming, and the company plans to reduce content produced purely for quantity.

This is a brilliant tactic to bring quality content from all the assets in their portfolio onto a single platform while also growing the number of subscribers and cutting down on the costs necessary to maintain their subsidiaries.

The Linear TV Model Is Broken

If nothing else, Iger is a brilliant strategist; Disney’s non-sports TV assets brought in nearly $12 billion in 2023 despite declining value, and pairing them with the growing streaming service is nothing short of brilliant.

Iger has previously maintained his position on the challenges facing linear Disney TV, noting that the business model is broken, which was indicated by a faster-than-expected decline in viewership. However, the new decision brings the best of both worlds and reunites them on streaming.

Focus On Quality Over Quantity

With that said, Disney stated that it will remain committed to its core franchises, which are driving Disney+’s success in the world of streaming despite all the cost cuts. In other words, franchises such as Star Wars or the MCU might experience a dip in content quantity but a spike in content quality.

As stated above, Disney has already announced some of these changes before, and the newest announcement from Bob Iger only reaffirms Disney’s decision to cut its investments in linear Disney TV.