Disney will be closing 18 cable TV channels under them, including FOX Movies, FOX Sports and Nat Geo People in Southeast Asia from 1 October 2021.
From 1 October 2021, 18 channels will be removed from cable TV subscriptions all across the Southeast Asian region as Disney looks to focus its efforts on its streaming service.
A report from Variety mentioned that the channels to be closed are the following:
- FOX Crime
- FOX Life
- FOX Action Movies
- FOX Family Movies
- FOX Movies
- Star Movies China
- FOX Sports
- FOX Sports 2
- FOX Sports 3
- Star Sports 1
- Star Sports 2
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Nat Geo People
- SCM Legend
The only channels that will continue airing past 1 October 2021 are part of Disney’s “streamlined television portfolio” are Star Chinese Channel, Star Chinese Movies, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild.
This closing of Disney-ran channels and those that are owned by the company is expected to bring down the number of cable TV subscribers in the region. Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research published a commentary on 14 September 2020 stating that they were expecting an irreversible gradual decline in cable TV subscriptions for the next 10 years as over-the-top (OTT) streaming services proliferate. It is believed that cable TV subscriptions in Singapore will tumble down to 460,660 by the end of 2029, a significant decrease from their 704,000 cable TV subscribers as of June 2020.
Despite these findings, StarHub, one of the many telcos in Singapore, mentioned to CNA that the closing of Disney owned and affiliated channels will have a “minimal impact” on its customers, who can continue watching Disney films, series and documentaries through Disney+.
Variety reported that Investment Analyst Richard Greenfield stated pay-TV bundles have already been undermined by corporations who favour strategies that focus on their own streaming businesses over sales of programming through cable and satellite operators. This was part of the thesis he presented at the Asia-Pacific Video Operators Summit on 21 April 2021. Additionally, the reason why consumers are getting more interested in streaming services is that the content they want and care about isn’t in the bundle, citing WandaVision’s presence in Disney Plus and its absence in the Disney Channel.
Unfortunately, the imminent closure of Fox Sports channels left fans of major sporting events such as Formula One, without any alternative to watch their favourite events since Fox Sports channels have the rights to air them.
We previously covered Disney Plus’ arrival in Singapore, what the streaming service offers and a comparison to other streaming services in Singapore. If you want to know more about Disney’s streaming service, be sure to check them out.
Written by John Paul Joaquin