Disney Channel and ESPN loses 2 million subscribers each. The two cable networks are the largest owned by The Walt Disney Co. and Disney also purchased the remaining stock in streaming firm BAMTech from MLB.
Disney Channel and ESPN Loses 2 Million Subscribers Each
Disney Channel and ESPN have each lost 2 million subscribers this fiscal year, The Walt Disney Co. reported on Tuesday. At 74 million subscribers, the two cable networks are the media firms’ largest, as per the filing Disney disclosed via the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The subscriber loss reflects the struggle of the media industry to retain customers and to also satisfy the needs of consumers in the streaming era. Disney simultaneously lost $4 billion in its direct-to-consumer services in the previous year, according to the filing. Other channels such as FX, Freeform, and National Geographic, lost 3 million subscribers each, on the other hand, Disney noted.
Disney Already Bought the Last Outstanding Share of BAMTech
Disney also bought the last outstanding share of BAMTech which is the company that helps power the company’s streaming offerings for $900 million, the company disclosed in the filing.
And with the acquisition of Major League Baseball’s 15% stake, Disney now owns all of the streaming technology services company that delivers Disney Plus, Hulu, and many other direct-to-consumer services. The company which is now known as Disney Streaming was formed in 2000 as MLB Advanced Media to help run the league’s online operations and its MLB.com website before a major shift in focus to streaming led to a spin-off of the streaming division which was then known at the time as BAMTech.
The Interest of Disney in the Company Started In 2016
The interest of Disney in the company started in 2016 with a $1 billion investment that gave it a 33% stake, with an option to acquire a greater ownership stake over the coming years. The company a year later paid an additional $1.58 billion for a 75% stake, and last year, the company bought the National Hockey League’s 10% stake for a reported $350 million.
The Acquisition Was Completed In November
The acquisition however was completed in November amid the surprise move to oust CEO Bob Chapek by the board of directors of the company and to then bring back former Chief Bob Iger as the replacement of Chapek. The board said Iger will be filling the role for two years, to “set the strategic direction for renewed growth.”