Disney closes Asia TV channels in a shift to streaming

Disney will close 18 TV channels across South-east Asia and pivot to a direct-to-consumer business model.

A woman watches a movie on her tablet computer.
The affected channels in South-east Asia and Hong Kong include Fox Sports, Fox Action Movies, Fox Family Movies and Star Chinese Movies. Picture: FrankundFrei from Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, April 29 (ANA) – With the global consumer shift towards on-demand video and TV streaming content, Disney will close 18 TV channels across South-east Asia and pivot to a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model.

According to SportsPro, a UK-based media company, the affected channels include Fox Sports, Fox Action Movies, Fox Family Movies and Star Chinese Movies.

“The company is consolidating its Media Networks business primarily in South-east Asia and Hong Kong,” read a statement by Disney to its employees.

“These efforts will help us align our resources more efficiently and effectively to current and future business needs,” it said.

The decision follows the traction its streaming platform Disney+ has gained since it launched in Singapore on February 23.

Disney officially began rolling out Disney+ in November 2019 and has accumulated more than 100 million subscribers globally.

With fewer subscribers in the TV landscape and falling ratings, it further launched in Australia, New Zealand and across Europe and Latin America.

The service boasts film brands such as Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.

The Straits Times, a Singapore-based publication, reported that local network provider StarHub, which hosted five of Disney’s channels, said there will be minimal impact on its customer base.

“Effective October 1, 2021, Disney will operate a streamlined television portfolio that covers Chinese language channels (Star Chinese Channel; Star Chinese Movies) and Factual Entertainment (National Geographic Channel; Nat Geo Wild),” the Walt Disney Company told The Straits Times.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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