As previously stated, Walt Disney’s attempt to promote their Direct-to-Consumer narrative is gaining traction by the day. Disney has made a huge statement, announcing that it will close over 100 cable channels this year as it transitions to a more robust D2C storyline. Disney had already indicated that 18 channels in Southeast Asia, including Star Sports and Fox Sports, would be shut down.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed the plans during JPMorgan’s annual Global Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Conference, saying, “We shuttered 30 channels in the fiscal year 2020 or in 2020.” In 2021, we hope to shut 100 stores. Sports channels like Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 2 are scheduled to be eliminated.
Chapek was also quoted saying, “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 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.”
The CEO did not specify whether any Disney channels in India would be shut down as well. He did, however, offer some information about Walt Disney’s Indian business strategy. He admitted that Disney needed to take a very different approach in the world’s most populous country.
He explained that because India has limited bandwidth, they must adjust their offers to fit that limitation, and that local languages are particularly crucial in India. As a result, they must sort of customise for each of those distinct elements.
It’s fair to say that Star Sports Network operates numerous language streams in India, specializing in sports, and has the rights to many of the country’s most prestigious sporting assets, including the IPL, BCCI Rights, and ICC Rights.