In a major announcement, Disney has now stated that they will shut almost 100 cable channels this year as it shifts towards building more robust D2C story.
The plans were revealed by Disney’s chief executive Bob Chapek at JPMorgan’s annual Global Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Conference “We closed 30 channels in fiscal year 2020 or in 2020. We plan to close 100 in 2021.”
Disney takes decision to shut numerous sports channel in South-East Asia (including India) and Hong Kong, signalling another move towards DTC. 18 channels will close in the region including Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Fox Sports, Fox Sports, and Fox Sports 3 by September this year. For India, the company has adopted mass-market pricing and distribution as there has been a significant rise in the number of consumers preferring online content and Disney wants to capitalise on the trend.
Star Sports will no longer available on TV from now. They are also the official broadcaster’s 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) along with ICC events and India's home matches of cricket. The network operates multiple language channels especially in sports and also holds rights to some of the biggest sporting properties in the country including IPL, BCCI Rights & ICC Rights.
For the sports enthusiast now the live streaming IPL will be made available on the Disney+ Hotstar app and website. Fans should be able to watch it on the network as the IPL season begins.